A self-proclaimed king of South Africa’s indigenous Khoisan community has been arrested for growing cannabis plants outside the president’s office in Pretoria, one of the country’s three capitals.
Lt. Col. Robert Netshiunda, a police spokesman, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that four people were arrested on Wednesday at the Union Buildings, the seat of the South African government, and are expected to appear in court.
“They were charged with dealing in dagga (cannabis), its illegal plantation and cultivation, as well as failure to wear a face mask in public when ordered to do so by a police officer,” he said.
Khoisan SA, 54, and several others have been living outside the Union Buildings for more than three years and demanding from the government to recognize the Khoisan community and other indigenous languages.
Netshiunda said the “king” and three others were arrested during a multi-disciplinary and intelligence-driven operation.
Police uprooted several plants of cannabis, but Khoisan attempted to stop them by clinging to a giant cannabis plant and was pulled along before being arrested.
Khoisan’s wife, so-called “Queen” Cynthia, told reporters that she is upset that her husband has been arrested for a herb they use for medicinal purposes.
“We’ve been using dagga (cannabis) for medicinal purposes for a very long time and people come to us when they are sick on a daily basis,” she said.