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Protesters Storm S.A’s World Economic Forum Venue

By GRANDNEWS on 04/09/2019

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Protesters at WEF Venue, Cape Town
Protesters at WEF Venue, Cape Town

By George Etakibuebu with Agency report



Protesters on Wednesday besieged the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), venue of the World Economic Forum as it got under way in South Africa,  @Times LIVE has reported. The four day international economic conference started on Wednesday September 4.

The conference has been overshadowed by xenophobic attacks on foreign African nationals, particularly those from Sub-Saharan Africa.  

According to the report, Police used stun grenades and pepper spray against the protesters who were trying to disrupt the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Wednesday. The crowd was demanding to hear from President Cyril Ramaphosa about the government's response to gender-based violence.

Several hundred students who demonstrated outside parliament following the rape and murder of University of Cape Town first-year Uyinene Mrwetyana made their way to the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the four-day WEF gathering began.

Protesters broke through a police cordon at the Heerengracht traffic circle and ran to the convention centre, where dozens of African leaders are among the delegates attending a four-day meeting.

 Scuffles broke out with police trying to prevent them entering and drive them back. The crowd chanted “We want Cyril” and “We want justice”.

The protesters were attempting to hit Ramaphosa where it hurt most, as he attempts to enhance SA’s international image as an investment destination.

With widescale looting and xenophobic violence taking place in Gauteng and a series of attacks on women and children countrywide, social media is bristling with posts declaring the president "missing". @TimesLIVE


When Olive Shisana, from the president's interim committee on gender-based violence and femicide tried to address the crowd, she was booed.

Protesters with duct tape over their mouths and dressed in black demanded to know what tangible steps the government was taking to address the crisis.

Shisana said the interim committee had nearly completed its public consultations and was taking a "scientific approach to find out how to address the problem".

The opening  day conference has seven sessions on the 4 of September, with the theme: Delivering the Promise of Africa’s Youth. According to organizers, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 200 million people aged between 15 and 24. The session is designed to x-ray the challenges and opportunities for the world's youngest and most demographically dynamic continent?

On the Forum Agenda are:- Reversing the youth unemployment crisis, Stemming unmanaged migration and political violence, Leveraging technology to foster socio-economic solutions.

Those billed to speak on the first day include Speaker include two Nigerians: Jim Ovia and Obiageli Katryn Ezekwesili. Others are Lerato Mbele, Karan Bhatia, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, Sahlework Zewde. As at the time of this report it was not clear if the Nigerian resource persons honoured the invitation to participate.


Posted 04/09/2019 2:10:46 PM


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