South Africa

UNMASKED

Two men arrested after Cape Town anti-vax protest goes awry

A protester is arrested after refusing to wear a face masks during a Covid-19 anti-vaccination march in Sea Point, Cape Town on 9 October 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

What began as a peaceful protest ended in a scuffle and two arrests when anti-vaxxers failed to heed police warnings.

Two men were arrested when a Covid-19 anti-vaccination and anti-mask demonstration turned violent in Sea Point on Saturday, 9 October. 

Be advised that two males aged 25 and 51 were arrested on charges of failing to wear a mask in public and contravening the Disaster Management Act,” Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk told Daily Maverick

anti-vax clash
Protesters clash with police after being asked to wear masks during a Covid-19 anti-vaccination march in Sea Point, Cape Town on 9nOctober 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

Both were released on a warning and will appear in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on 17 November.

According to reports, about 40 protesters gathered at the Sea Point Promenade for a peaceful march which went awry when the group failed to heed warnings from the police. A scuffle between several protesters and SAPS officers ensued, resulting in the arrests. 

The protest took place a day after the national Department of Health launched a digital vaccine passport for South African travellers. Recently, the majority of the UCT Senate also voted in favour of a proposed policy to make vaccination mandatory from 2022 for staff and students at the institution. 

Anti-vaxxers (some of whom were children) carried placards. A few read, “health is a free choice” and “I say no to the experimental jab”.

anti-vax police
Protesters are warned by police to wear masks during the Covid-19 anti-vaccination march in Sea Point, Cape Town on 9 October 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

This is the fifth protest of its kind held in Cape Town this year. The previous one was held in August outside the Groote Schuur Hospital. 

An infographic released by the hospital last month showed the vast majority of Covid-19 patients admitted to the facility were unvaccinated. MC

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