South Africans opposed to the distribution of portable toilets in impoverished communities have taken their protests to a low: throwing feces at government officials.
Human waste was dumped this month on the legislature in Cape Town and thrown at a bus carrying Helen Zille, leader of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, which governs the Western Cape province. Members of the ruling African National Congress’s Youth League and some residents say the portable toilets being distributed in parts of the city don’t address residents’ demands for clean and safe bathrooms.
“By improving these toilets they are simply improving on apartheid’s legacy,” former ANC councilor Andile Lili told the Johannesburg-based Times newspaper this month, in reference to the system of white-minority rule that ended in 1994.
Human excretions were also thrown at an ANC councilor’s house in Buffalo City, 30 kilometers (19 miles) outside of East London, the Eastern Cape local government said on June 23, according to the South African Press Agency.
Lili told The Cape Argus newspaper the flinging of feces at government officials and buildings was a “warning” of things to come.
The government has condemned the practice, with Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane saying in a June 13 statement, “this particular form of protest is undignified and poses a serious health risk to communities and the protesters themselves.”
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