A march to denounce the exclusion of Rastafarians was organized in Cape Town
About 300 Rastafarians marched through Cape Town's central business district to denounce the exclusion of indigenous populations from the cannabis industry. They were also unhappy with the lack of legislation relating to cannabis cultivation and the distribution of land.
The march, organized by the Black Farmers Association of South Africa (BFASA), was joined by the Delft Chamber of Commerce, the Rastafarian United Front, the Rastafari Ganja Council Western Cape and ten affiliated associations.
The parade started at the Grand Parade on Thursday, then moved to Parliament, the Western Cape Legislature and ended at the High Court of the Western Cape.
The petitions were delivered to representatives of the Office of the President, the Prime Minister and the Presiding Judge of the High Court.
BFASA Chairman Dr Lennox Xolile Mtshagi said one of the demands made to the Chairman was to revoke all cannabis licenses issued to white-owned pharmaceutical companies by the South African Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).
“The cannabis plant is a native plant that belongs to the indigenous people of this country. It is unfair that Sahpra grants these licenses to white companies. We also demand that all companies that sell cannabis oil products, like Clicks, Dis-Chem and Canna Africa, remove all their products from the shelves, as they are operating illegally under the 1965 law ” .
The president of the Delft Chamber of Commerce, Harashaad Geldenhuys, said their participation was united.
We believe that economic growth begins in our townships and not in the privileged places of the Western Cape. We need to take cannabis and all related products off the market because they are currently illegal. On the other hand, we want those responsible to be investigated, brought to justice and brought to justice, ”he said.
The groups called for firm action against Sahpra and the withdrawal of its current president, Helen Rees, and to investigate "the blatant racism in the granting of permits and licenses against the principles of the Constitution".
They said indigenous peoples have been deprived of industry and called for more inclusion by endowing indigenous peoples with land.
The president of the Rastafari United Front, Thau-Thau Haramanuba, declared that Rastafarians were still one of the marginalized communities in South Africa.
“The new cannabis bill that Parliament is drafting does not speak to us, it is aimed at the marginalized. Some licenses are issued under an apartheid law of 1965, which does not comply with the BEE. No black person has a license for cannabis. We are imprisoned, beaten and we suffer because of cannabis and always on the periphery. Today we are protesting against this discrimination and this exploitation of modern times ”.
The groups requested feedback within 14 days, with another march scheduled for January.