By now it is well known that the City of Cape Town has decided to lay charges against Fadiel Adams, the public face of the shutdown movement in Cape Town.
The charges include incitement to commit violence but it is not clear how this will hold up in court.
In a statement prior to the shutdown, Fadiel had discouraged violence and there were no reports of violence, other than the blocking of traffic and burning of tyres.
Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, has also laid charges of defamation, after Fadiel mocked him on social media.
Smith also suggested that the protests, in which Coloured Cape Tonians rejected the exclusion of Coloureds from housing lists, were in fact, an act of racism by Coloureds against black and white South Africans.
After the publishing of the intent to lay charges, social media comments criticising the city’s actions were scathing and perhaps, a bit worrying for the ruling Democratic Alliance.
One of the many accusations levelled against the city was the suggestion that the goal is not to win in court, but to use the courts as a form of harassment to discourage future protests.
It was further suggested that this was similar to harassment levelled against anti-apartheid activists by the apartheid regime.
Some have even gone as far to say that if Fadiel appears in court, the city should be shut down for a second time and have called on candidates to stand against the DA in Coloured dominated areas.
In addition, Smith has been described by several as racist, with one commentator going as far as to say that he is as “racist as Eugene Terblanche on a good day”.
They also wanted to know if Smith is using tax money to fight his personal battle against Fadiel.
Although it was not an overwhelming success, it was successful enough to suggest that the shutdown movement could develop enough momentum to become a threat to the ruling political classes.
As can be seen by the city’s intention to go to court, its moderate success was significant enough to jolt the city into what some see as an overly drastic response.
Below is some of the comment s left on social media pages from the pages of SABC News and IOL: