The EFF at Monday’s court appearance after a protest near Clicks.(Supplied, Melikhaya Xego)
- Sixteen people arrested during a protest at Clicks in Stellenbosch appeared in court on Monday.
- They were angry that their case stalled on Friday and to avoid the weekend in jail approached the Western Cape High Court.
- They were released on a warning on Saturday and cautioned to return to the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The 16 people arrested during a protest over Clicks’ online TRESemme hair product advertisement appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Monday, after the case was halted on Friday angering the accused.
The party’s regional chairperson Melikhaya Xego said this comes after an urgent application to the Western Cape High Court on Saturday to get them released on a warning.
They were due to have appeared in the court on Friday to face charges of alleged violation of an interim order, and their deputy chairperson Nosipho Makamba-Botya person faces a charge of alleged assault of a police officer.
Clicks made a second successful bid for an interim order to prevent harassment of shoppers and staff during the protests, after its initial attempt to interdict the protests was dismissed.
Xego said all of those arrested – including six non-members who he said were scooped up by police in the chaos of everybody running away – had provided their names and addresses by Thursday night. He said Makamba-Botya’s charge relates to being arrested while “sitting peacefully”.
Investigating officers are required to check that everybody’s name and address is correct before bail can be considered by a court.
Xego said it was claimed that some people gave false names and addresses and the police had to start all over again on Friday.
However, when the EFF’s lawyer was ready to apply for bail on their behalf by the time this was done at 15:00 on Friday, a prosecutor was not available.
Outraged, the EFF’s top leadership was consulted, and the Western Cape chapter was given permission to take the delay to the Western Cape High Court.
Xego said the group was released on a warning to be at court on Monday. On Monday the case was postponed to 2 October.
The party feels the delay was all a ruse to keep its members behind bars for as long as possible in Stellenbosch.
“You don’t touch Stellenbosch,” said Xego.
The EFF vowed to keep Clicks closed from last Monday to Friday for carrying the advertisement for the Unilever product which depicted black model’s hair as “dry and damaged” and “frizzy and dull” and white model’s hair as “normal”. The party said it was racist and, Clicks and Unilever eventually agreed.
After a meeting between the EFF and Unilever on Thursday, the party considered the matter closed.