POLITICS, PROTEST & VIOLENCE
Cape Town Marathon runner assaults Communicare CEO at pro-Palestine roadside picket
‘We cannot and will not tolerate gender-based violence, especially in South Africa,’ said the Salt River Heritage Society after a Cape Town Marathon runner assaulted Communicare CEO Anthea Houston during a pro-Palestine demonstration.
Communicare CEO Anthea Houston was on Monday still in hospital after being assaulted during a pro-Palestine demonstration in Salt River, Cape Town, on Sunday, 15 October. Houston was part of a group who were peacefully protesting against the killing of Palestinians in Gaza when a participant in the Cape Town Marathon assaulted her.
Houston’s sister Lorna told Daily Maverick that the family was “still quite baffled by the motive of the incident”.
Read in Daily Maverick: Pro-Palestine supporters mobilise across the globe demanding end to violence in Gaza
Lorna Houston confirmed that a case of assault had been opened at the Woodstock Police Station and that, “At the moment, we are hoping the police will do something.”
The attacker has not yet been identified although there are photos of the alleged attacker doing the rounds on social media.
The Salt River Heritage Society said, “During the protest, a race participant physically assaulted Ms Houston, levelling her to the ground with force. To the dismay of onlookers, he callously continued running as if nothing had occurred and he left Ms Houston lying flat on the ground.”
The chairperson of the society, Lutfi Omar, said: “We cannot and will not tolerate gender-based violence, especially in South Africa … this incident serves as a stark reminder that we must work together to create a safer, more inclusive, and more compassionate society for all.”
Barry van Blerk, the managing director of the marathon, told Daily Maverick: “We are aware of the alleged assault and the police are presently investigating.”
Protests against Israel’s bombardment and siege of Gaza have taken place across the world. More than 2,700 Palestinians have died in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza since Hamas militants broke through the border and killed more than 1,300 Israelis on 7 October.
In South Africa, protests have taken place in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
News24 reported that during a protest in Johannesburg on 11 October, police had to escort a lone counter-protester with an Israeli flag as pro-Palestine demonstrators protested in front of the US consulate in Sandton. DM