A group of pensioners who have been protesting outside Parliament over outstanding fund have been bundled out of the National Assembly arena. The protesting pensioners were forcibly pulled out by Public Order Police.
Before their pitiable ejection, the pensioners were seen across the gates on Plein Street, challenging police and Parliament to remove them. They also turned away cars and buses conveying Members of Parliament.
The pensioners’ protest got strengthened after a group of younger protesters joined them, demanding for land. However, around 12:30 am, the two groups were forcibly removed and bundled into vans.
Speaking afterwards, a police officer on the scene stated that the groups were removed because they failed to heed to their warning. He also asserted that they were removed because they were blocking a National Key Point.
Confirming the removal of the pensioners, Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk stated that the pensioners were removed, but could not say how many of them were arrested.
Meanwhile, Parliament secretary Gengezi Mgidlala on Friday said Parliament had not opened a case against the pensioners.
“I don’t think we will be opening a case against them. Parliament has been in constant conversation with the pensioners since they arrived about two weeks ago. We have met with the department of labour, social development to try and address the issues,” Mgidlala said.
Mgidlala added that he couldn’t believe his eyes on Friday when he met the gates blocked by the pensioners.
“The issue of concern was of prevention of members who were coming into committees, but that was dealt with. But we are engaging the pensioners,” he related.
Meanwhile, a pensioner, named Clement Bacela said the group were looking for ways to bail about 15 pensioners and younger protesters who were arrested. Bacela revealed that the 15 persons were being held at the Cape Town Central police station.
Hours ago, we brought you a report about the protesting pensioners, who stated that the payment was in terms of an agreement with Parliament signed on April 20.
As at yesterday, the pensioners threatened that they will not leave the arena until they receive deposit alert on their phones.