What happened next?
After being rounded up by the police, protesters were then released with no explanation. The court was told it was the decision of the attorney-general.
Charges were yesterday withdrawn in Cape Town Magistrate's Court against 29 of the "purple people'' arrested during a city centre protest days before the September 6 General Election.
The 29 were the first batch of more than 500 protesters who were sprayed with purple dye by police from a water cannon machine in Burg Street on Saturday morning, September 2.
No reasons were given for the withdrawal of the charges. The court was told it was the decision of the attorney-general.
The protesters were trying to march from Greenmarket Square to Parliament where they intended to deliver a petition.
Among those arrested were Dr Allan Boesak, Professor Charles Villa-Vincencio, four lawyers, nuns and priests.
Fifty-two journalists were also arrested.
- "Purple demo charges dropped", Cape Times, October 14, 1989