stand up for chappies

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2012-02-23 12:36

“My message to the people of Cape Town is get involved. This is your mountain. We are custodians of this mountain for future generations. I feel we have to stand up".

So says Fiona Hinds who was arrested after occupying the Chapman's Peak toll plaza construction site for five days. Fiona appeared in court yesterday on a charge of "malicious injury to property" for reportedly spraypainting "Murray & Robbers" on netting around the site. Entilini, developers of the R 54-million plaza and administrative centre, are owned partly by construction firm Murray and Roberts.

Hinds' legal representative asked the court to remove the bail condition imposed on her after her arrest on Monday which prevented her from returning to the construction site. Removal of the bail condition was granted and the court hearing postponed until 23 March.

Graham Taylor (Hinds' attorney) said: "It is a long shot to prosecute people for

graffiti on a construction site. The agenda appears to be to use the criminal justice system to keep her off site."

Bronwen Lankers-Byrne, a founding member of the Civil Rights Action Group (Crag), said: “It makes absolute sense they dropped the bail condition against Fiona. There is no evidence against her.”

Ordinary people like me and you (also referred to as 'protestor's or 'activists') are outraged that this unnecessary development is taking place in the heart of one of the world's most scenic drives, in SANParks-owned Table Mountain National Park (a park for the people of South Africa to enjoy, not officials to enrich themselves), and a World Heritage Site to boot.

What can you do?

Concerned citizens are on site again collecting signatures for a petition (nearly 6000 so far), so if you are in the area head to the construction site and lend your support. If you're too far away then sign the petition on the CRAG website here. You can also send Helen Zille or Robin Carlisle (MEC for Transport in Western Cape) a heartfelt message (see website for more details).