South African Police Block Congolese Protest

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South African Police on Friday prevented some Congolese from staging a protest against the political crisis in their country.

The protesters, who gathered at the parking lot of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town ahead of a march against the re-election of President Joseph Kabila, were dispersed by the police.

 

Spokesperson for the protesters, Oliver Kalala, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg that the election of Kabila was fraudulent and he had no right to lead the country.

 

“The electoral outcome was flawed. The outgoing president committed fraud with the help of other African heads of state, including President Jacob Zuma.

“During his swearing-in ceremony only Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe was there. That shows that the world does not support Kabila. Today, we are celebrating the victory of our true leader, though the police are preventing us from expressing our feeling, but we will stage another protest in January,” Kalala said.

The country’s Supreme Court and the election commission said Kabila had won the vote by 49 percent against opposition leader and presidential candidate of Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP), Etienne Tshisekedi who had 32 percent.

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Kabila was sworn-in on Tuesday with President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe the only president in attendance.

Tshisekedi rejected the result of the elections and declared himself “President elect’’ and planned his “swearing-in” ceremony to hold in the Marty Stadium on Friday.

 

The Executive Director of Kinshasa based Good Governance and Protection of Human Right, Dr. John Tshombe told NAN on telephone that the police and army had sealed up Tshisekedi’s house to prevent him from the planned oath taking.

“The situation in Kinshasa is tense, there are police and army personnel everywhere, the proposed swearing-in of Tshisekedi was botched with heavy presence of police and army armour vehicles stationed at the entrance of his house since Thursday.

“Though large crowds of people had assembled at the stadium, venue of the oath taking, all the political leaders who are expected to attend the ceremony are under house arrest,’’ Tshombe said.

The EU and the U.S. had condemned the outcome of the November 28 presidential election, describing it as being flawed by irregularities and lacking transparency.