Charges against Claire Ceruti from Keep Left, of breaching city by-laws by “illegally putting up advertising posters with glue” on some streets in Johannesburg, were dropped on 17 August 2010 because of lack of evidence.
This after Ceruti allegedly placed posters of invitation to a discussion on “why attacks on lesbians and gays increasing in Africa.”
According to the Johannesburg outdoor advertising by-laws “any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provisions of these By-laws is liable, on conviction, to a fine or in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months.”
Having seen these posters in three different areas, Ceruti was fined three times with each of the six posters found costing R1000.
“The case was thrown out of court because of the lack of evidence. The Magistrate said it was also partly related to the fact that 20 supporters that were present in court told the prosecutor they were responsible for the placing of posters”, Ceruti said.
She added, “The question that still remains is why the posters specifically concerning gays and lesbians received so much attention when so many posters remain on the streets. And what I would like to emphasize as I mentioned on the statement is that, there are acres of space devoted to advertising in our city. It is legally available to those with millions of rands, so where is the space for the people on the ground to put posters about modest but important activities they are organising.”
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