PICTOU — A protest last Friday underscored a group’s frustration over how slowly the wheels of justice are turning for Nhlanhla Dlamini.
About 20 people gathered with placards and to express, through a series of addresses and chants, their disappointment with how a court case has proceeded so far. It was organized by members of African Nova Scotia Advocates and Allies.
Also known as Nj, Dlamini is the centre of a criminal court case alleging that a former co-worker injured him with a nail gun last fall. Dlamini was working at a construction site of a new home for local property owner, developer and landlord Paul Quinn and required surgery to help him recover from the injuries. He has since returned to carpentry work with his previous employer.
“He’s doing what he wants to do,” his father, Buhle Dlamini said, referring to how Nj enjoys carpentry.
Buhle Dlamini was among those protesting. He said his son is not fully recovered physically or emotionally from the ordeal. However, he said it is “validating” that people are supporting his son. The thrust of the protest is the recent deferral of court procedure when Nj Dlamini’s alleged assailant, Shawn Hynes, who has been charged, did not appear for the proceeding.
“(Hynes) didn’t show up for the (court) appearance,” Buhle Dlamini said. “There were no consequences, just to postpone it — that’s the real frustration. People need to know that justice is equal.”
Former New Glasgow resident Angela Bowden, Black Educators Assocition representative Crystal States and ANSAA member Raymond Sheppard addressed the crowd.
“All African Nova Scotians have the right to be treated with dignity and respect in our society,” Bowden said. “We are watching how this unfolds.”
Sheppard said he is encouraged how younger people have begun to embrace the cause of equal justice in the province.
“They are going to make a difference,” he said.
States noted how the United Nations officially declared the decade from 2015 to 2024 the International Decade for People of African Descent, Recognition, Justice and Development while Bowden performed a water pouring ceremony.
Protesters line up in front of the security entrance to the Pictou Justice Centre.