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Activists Threaten Police As Dagga Plants Removed At Ramaphosa’s Office

Activists Threaten Police As Dagga Plants Removed At Ramaphosa’s Office

On Wednesday, members of the South African Police Force uprooted cannabis plants grown by activists who have camped outside President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office for over three years. AFP reporters witnessed the event and the resultant threats.

The leader of the group of activists, wearing nothing but a traditional loincloth, clung to a shoulder-height plant as police dragged it across the presidential lawn in Pretoria before arresting him.

“Police … you have declared war,” he shouted. “We have been here peacefully. We are coming for you,” warned the man, who calls himself King Khoisan South Africa.

During the raid, another activist yelled in Afrikaans at the police officers, asking them: “For plants? For plants? You are rubbish people in uniforms.”

The group’s tarpaulin tents have been a permanent fixture on the emerald lawns of the South African president’s office since 2018 when they began a campaign for official recognition of their respective languages.

One of the tents is just meters away from a giant bronze statue of Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president and icon for millions around the globe. Around two dozen members of the police, some in riot gear, others mounted on horseback, and some with sniffer dogs raided the small group.

Police did not respond to AFP’s request for comment, but journalists heard officers on the scene saying the raid was over the cannabis planted some six months ago in the activists’ so-called vegetable garden.

In 2018, South Africa’s top court decriminalized the private and personal use of cannabis in a landmark case that pitted law enforcement agencies against advocates of the plant, known locally as dagga.


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