This article first appeared in the Knysna-Plett Herald:
Despite a special meeting between the Knysna Rastafarian community and the Western Cape MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato two weeks ago at Knysna Municipality, the local Rastafari still feel unfairly victimised by the local police.
The meeting was scheduled after their leader, Brother Maxi, a Judah Square elder, wrote to the minister’s office to lodge an official complaint regarding a raid last year during which the police ransacked their homes and gardens.
“I’m very upset to see my name in the paper after a police report apparently named me as a man presumed peddling drugs at the taxi rank in Nelson Street,” said a visibly upset Clifford Daniel. “We are Rastafari and do not consider ganja to be a drug, but a holy herb with many medicinal benefits. What about the people who sell Tik and chemical stuff for everyone to see? Why don’t the police go after those guys?”
Daniel, who says he is a priest in the Order of Nyahbinghi, along with his wife arranged to meet Colonel Nolan Michaels, then Knysna’s station commander to discuss the situation. “Michaels said he respected my honesty. I told him I was a priest and that we are sick and tired of the police constantly stopping us and searching us wherever we go, yet the real hardcore drug dealers in Knysna are left alone. Why?”
Daniel said that on April 9, five police vehicles pulled up alongside him and he was searched.
Read the rest of this article by the Knysna-Plett Herald here.