Eleven of the twelve Greenpeace activists outside Atlantis Magistrates Court, where members of the group are on trial after staging a protest on Koeberg Nuclear Power Station.
Six climbers sailed into the harbour of the plant in inflatable
boats nine days ago at first light, scaled the pump house building
in front of the reactor domes and dropped two banners reading
"Nukes Out of Africa".
After a four hour protest all six climbers and six boat crew in
the inflatables were arrested.
The Atlantis magistrates court freed them today with fines of
SAR4000 for breaching security at South Africa's only nuclear power
plant at Koeberg, near Cape Town. The group was also fined a
further SAR1000 for failing to declare the true purpose of their
visit on visa applications, and for entering an unauthorised
Mike Townsley was with them in Atlantis and says he is delighted
that all the activists are now free to go home, but sad for South
Africa that they will leave behind a nuclear facility that can only
bring long term pollution and threat to the country.
"Since the protest at Koeberg it has become apparent that the
Greenpeace activists are not the only people who have broken the
law. The total failure of the plant owners, Eskom, to provide
safety, security and evacuation plans should be investigated by the
authorities and is yet another reason why this first nuclear
facility in Africa should be the last," said Townsley.
The protest was part of our on going campaign during the Earth
Summit in Johannesburg, to take action to show the madness of
allowing global energy policy to be dictated by the nuclear and
fossil industries, when clean and safe alternatives such as solar
and wind power are available.
A third of the planet - two billion people - live without access
to energy and still we see multi billion dollar subsidies being
pumped into the nuclear, oil, coal and gas industries. That money
could kick start a renewable energy revolution.
In this critical week for the Earth Summit, world leaders must
focus on bringing about that revolution. South Africa can take the
led by cancelling plans for any further nuclear power development
and putting the resources into clean and safe energy.
The Greenpeace activists left court wearing T-shirts which read
"Nukes Out Of Africa". The twelve activists are from Argentina,
Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico, Lebanon, UK, New Zealand