After a very difficult morning when at noontime the judge had planned to postpone again until tomorrow, we had some last minute interventions and all protesters are out on bail since late this afternoon, also community leader Lubabalo Vellem.
Luba is now with his sister in Khayelitsha and is not allowed to return to Masi until his scheduled day in court on 14 January 2016. A really wise decision in many aspects.
I want to thank Debbie Ellis – she paid on behalf of her homeowners association the complete bail amount for Luba, I paid the bail for the other three remaining protesters (two others were released without bail). Thank you to all who pledged donations to enable us to do this !
For now peace Masi has been restored and all children can go back to school. It will only last, of course, if also development will happen.
To close just two special moments to share:
- One leader of the riot police in front of the Magistrate’s court thanked us for helping them to “survive the tense day without serious trouble”, as he put it… and
- as nobody of the ca. 1000 Masi protesters had food and drinks with for a whole day and many shops in Simon’s Town had closed because of fear, it was a group of Somalian shop keepers from Masi who brought in one truck around lunchtime free cool drinks for a few hundred people thirsty people.
Thank you for believing that peaceful solutions are possible,
Some great images of today in Simon’s Town (outside the Magistrate court)… from photographer and friend Nic Bothma