Eskom Protest Activists Charged for Trespass Only

Two other charges dropped

Feature story - October 24, 2012
Fourteen activists from three campaigning organisations -- groundWork, Earthlife Africa, and Greenpeace -- have been fined for “admission of guilt” on the offence of “trespass” at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court following their peaceful protest against Eskom.

According to the police, ESKOM laid charges of trespass, intimidation, and malicious damage to property.  Two of the three charges were dropped and the activists were convicted of trespass only.

Activists were released on bail last night from the Sandton police station where they had been held in custody for 12hours.

“The fact that the ridiculous charges of intimidation and malicious damage to property were dropped is a clear indication that Eskom and the police over reacted to the peaceful protest on Tuesday and were trying to silence the voice of the people” said Greenpeace Africa Executive Director Michael Onyeka O’ Brien.

“Our voices will not be crushed by those who abuse power. The South African government and Eskom have to put the people of this country first by creating a clean energy future” added Bobby Peek groundwork CEO.

According to Earthlife’s Makoma Lekalakala “ coal continues to put all South Africans at risk and a just transition away from coal and towards renewable energy is critical for the health and safety of all people in this country”.

The activists took part in a peaceful protest at the Eskom Megawatt Park on Tuesday against the utility’s reckless coal expansion. 

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