/ 6 December 2011

Greenpeace activists to be deported after Durban arrest

Three Greenpeace activists will be deported after they were arrested for trespassing while trying to abseil from the roof of a Durban hotel.

Department of home affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the three foreigners — from Germany, Australia and Denmark — had been granted visa-free entry into South Africa because of bilateral visa waiver agreements between South Africa and their countries.

Thousands of activists have hit the streets of Durban to make sure their voices are heard during COP17. Representing diverse organisations and causes from around the world, they maintained that climate change negotiators need to do more.

“Under this exemption, the three nationals could enter South Africa without visas for tourism or business purposes,” he said.

They were arrested for trespassing on the roof of the Protea Edward Hotel on Durban’s beachfront with the intention of abseiling from the hotel’s roof.

“This contravened the conditions of their visa free entry into the republic,” said Mamoepa.

He said they had appeared before a special court where they pleaded guilty to were found guilty of trespassing..

“Following this conviction, the three foreign nationals were taken to a place of detention awaiting arrangements to be finalised by the department of home affairs for their deportation to their countries of origin.”

Greenpeace identified the three as Signe Andersen from Denmark, Paul Grajewski from Australia and Frank Simon from Germany.

They were among seven environmental activists arrested for trespassing. — Sapa

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