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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Palestine flags initially banned at Cape Town’s Festive Lights Switch-On

There were reports of clashes between some pro-Palestinian protestors and the City of Cape Town's law-enforcement officers

As thousands of people gathered at the Grand Parade for the annual Festive Lights Switch-On in Cape Town, a minor scuffle ensued when a pro-Palestinian supporter was not allowed to wear his Palestinian scarf or carry the flag.

It is understood that other pro-Palestinian supporters were also asked to leave their flags and banners behind if they wanted to attend the event.

Watch the minor scuffle at the parade


According to the local community radio station Radio 786, there were reports of clashes between some protestors and the City of Cape Town‘s law-enforcement officers.

The radio station said a contingent of protestors calling for the liberation of Palestine were demonstrating in the streets of the Cape Town CBD.

“The group is demanding a just and lasting peaceful end to the ongoing onslaught on Gaza. The contention is that the officers are not allowing any Pro-Palestinian flags to be flown,” it said.

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Avoiding conflict

City of Cape Town Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith told The Citizen that the Saps Colonel Stevens  (who is ultimately in charge of the event in terms of SASREA legislation) briefed enforcement and security that no flags and no banners were to be allowed in the footprint of this event and that such are to be confiscated and handed to him.

“The Mayor of Cape Town then requested that banners and flags not be confiscated to avoid conflict and asked that the police be advised of this.

“Evidence that the city’s earlier position is accurate: outside of the event footprint where the earlier instruction of the Saps senior officer did not apply, Metro Police had no issue at all with pro-Palestinian banners and flags,” Smith said.

No arrests

Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said the police had “no record” of the allegations that Palestinian supporters had been denied access or that their flags and banners were confiscated and there were no reported incidents or arrests or action taken by police.”

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