President Zuma sits quietly as his supporters physically attack civil society activists at town hall meeting on climate change

This is the second attack on peacefully demonstrating members of civil society in the last week, here in Durban. The first was during the march on Saturday on the Global Day of Action: ANC Youth League members, also wearing COP 17 volunteer uniforms, attacked protesters.

Press Release: Pro-Zuma Supporters Physically Attack Civil Society at Durban Townhall Meeting on Climate Change.

groundWork, Earthlife Africa Jhb

8th of Dec. 2011

President Zuma watches as Supporters Assault Peaceful Demonstrators

Twenty minutes ago and in a meeting designed for engagement between President Zuma and communities & civil society, violence broke out when peaceful civil society demonstrators silently held up signs asking “Zuma to stand with Africa”. Pro-Zuma supporters, many wearing the uniforms of COP17 volunteers then attacked the demonstrators in an act of mob violence.

Demonstrators were roughed up and some had to flee the hall.

While all of this went on, President Zuma sat up on the podium and remained quiet. Furthermore, it took nearly ten minutes before police entered the hall to restore order.

Siziwe Khanyile of groundWork states, “This was our event, organised to communicate with President Zuma. We were then abused, kicked out, robbed, and manhandled by Zuma supporters disguised as COP17 volunteers.”

Tristen Taylor of Earthlife Africa Jhb states, “This was a terrible display of mob violence that aim to suppress the democratic rights of citizens of this country. It happened in front of the President of this country, and disgraces this country in front of the eyes of the world at time when we should be solving the problem of climate change.”

For more information, please contact:

Siziwe Khanyile
Climate Justice and Energy Campaigner
groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa
Tel:+27 33 342 5662
Fax: +27 33 342 5665
Cell: +27 73 830 8173

Tristen Taylor
Project Coordinator
Earthlife Africa Jhb
Cell: +27 84 250 2434


Filed under Uncategorized

10 responses to “President Zuma sits quietly as his supporters physically attack civil society activists at town hall meeting on climate change

  1. Its the only language they understand

  2. anna

    They want to take away our voices with secrecy bill, but this is 2 much!!! We come in peace and now, we being removed! What is next!!! OCCUPY DURBAN!!!


    ‘Muzzling’ Abigail Borah and children everywhere when they speak truth to power cannot be allowed to stand. And yet it does stand. Perhaps change, change that allows the children to speak out and protect their birthright, will come to pass before it is too late for the human community to undo the desecration and damage that has been done by their greedmongering elders to their earthly home, the planetary home foolhardy elders are borrowing/stealing from them.

    A Quartet on Thinking Globally and Acting Locally:


  4. Barbara

    Everyone is making out like civil society are innocent victims but really everyone was exceptionally rude to the woman speaker representing the woman farmers of africa. It wasn’t at all appropriate to disrupt her with a protest. Can’t believe the chair did nothing for 5 or 10 minutes either. No wonder we are heading for such a catastrophe when even civil society has absolutely no respect for the most desperate voice in the room. As for Jacob Zuma – psychopath comes to mind.

    • Zuma never reacts to problems that is why this country in going down the drain.That is why this country needs no secrecy bill.Sorry about the chair did nothing for about 5-10 min he should had bring order that is why he is there for.

  5. We can’t have real change until all the evil stuff comes to the surface, to be seen by all – which seems to be happening. Evil is like a boil or cyst – it can’t be lanced until it comes up to the surface of the skin where you can see it. Zuma quietly watching such violence is chilling, but it’s very revealing and people all around the world are finding out about it (step #1). Good job putting the word out.

  6. Tebogo Mokgope

    I guess someone needs to remind ancyl members that the right to protest was fought for and won by everyone – with assistance from all over the world. For Zuma to stand up and call to order the congolese who were protesting about his involvement in their country and tell them not to protest in south africa is a shame and shows narrow understanding of politics. First of all this conference is not a south african conference but South Africa is only a host- while the discussions and solutions concern everyone- so South African government or ANC should not think that they own this conference. I was there on saturday, what those volunteers did was thuggery at its worst. They violated our hard fought right to protest.

  7. Joan Betty

    Its par for the course with regards to the violent ANC supporters. I fear for this country, and the leaders are a joke who only seek their own personal advancement.

  8. No man

    Zuma needs to be taken off we will loos our countre with him they need to do something and fast or we will be like zim

  9. No man

    Is he doing becous of juju or what but if the anc dont do any thing about it we will be going down

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s