Cape Town - The Rastafarians’ rights group Rasta Beat has taken the DA’s Mark Wiley to the Western Cape High Court, saying he unlawfully associated their religion with drug abuse.
On Friday, Gareth Prince, for Rasta Beat, filed high court papers after an unsuccessful attempt at the Equality Court.
This comes after Wiley called on provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer to act against Mitchells Plain police commander Major-General Jeremy Veary for wearing a T-shirt with a dagga emblem and the word “Rastafarian”.
“(Veary) needs to understand that public behaviour must set an example for others, given that he is responsible for policing drug abuse in one of the most drug-affected communities in the metro,” Wiley said in an open letter to Lamoer.
Rasta Beat lodged a complaint against Wiley at the Equality Court in July. After Wiley failed to make a statement to the Equality Court, as it had requested, Rasta Beat took the matter to the high court.
Wiley told the Cape Argus he had no issue with the Rastafarian community and their use of dagga for religious purposes.
“It is my job as standing committee chairman for community safety to help fulfil an oversight role with regard to police conduct in the province. I stick to my criticism of Veary, and question why the police have not responded to my calls for action to be taken against Veary,” he said.
DA lawyers had not responded to Rasta Beat’s complaint to the court because it was “nonsensical”. A request to the Equality Court for clarity had gone unanswered.
Prince said he had not received a request from the Equality Court for the complaint to be clarified, and accused the DA of using delaying tactics.