The CEO of the civil rights initiative AfriForum, Kallie Kriel, was arrested and given a spot fine of R2 500 for putting up posters with a “Mugabe Go Home” message at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday.
AfriForum was campaigning against allowing Mugabe to attend the inauguration. It “does not make sense to allow Mugabe while a visa to visit South Africa was recently denied to the Dalai Lama”, said AfriForum.
Members of the movement had put up a poster at the Zimbabwean embassy, but when they were about to attach one to a Church Street lamp post near the Union Buildings, Tshwane Metro Police confronted them.
Kriel said some members of the police were friendly to them but one of the senior officers decided to charge him under municipal by-laws.
Kriel said he acted like a member of “Mugabe’s police”.
“I am not going to pay the fine, but will opt to go to court. Even if the court recommends the fine, I think it must be given to Mugabe,” said Kriel.
“They must charge Mugabe, a human rights violator, according to international laws rather than charge people protesting peacefully.
“The fact that Mugabe gets the red carpet treatment, while he is abusing his people, sends a negative message regarding the SA government’s approach to human rights,” said Kriel.
He said “it is a sad irony that the government has done away with visa requirements for Zimbabweans who are streaming to the country because of Mugabe’s regime and, at the same time, welcomes the cause of the problems, Mugabe, with open arms”.