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Xolani Koyana and Lauren Isaacs
CAPE Town mayor Patricia de Lille and four of her mayoral committee members were forced to leave a Khayelitsha hall when residents toyi-toyied, tipped over tables and banged chairs on the floor.
A crowd of about 500 marched around inside OR Tambo hall, refusing to give De Lille an opportunity to address residents about the Integrated Development Plan for the area.
Outside, about five law enforcement vehicles flanked the entrance. The crowd grew larger about half an hour after the meeting was to start.
De Lille tried in vain to address them and was continually shouted down. After several attempts, De Lille, her colleagues and her bodyguard left the hall. Residents then flung chairs at the stage and continued singing Struggle songs.
This incident comes as the ANC Youth League says there won’t be protest action today, but the City of Cape Town is taking no chances and has made plans to minimise any disruptions.
The league says it will not retract its threat to make the city and province ungovernable despite an intimidation complaint lodged with the police.
In a memorandum to Premier Helen Zille’s office on July 27, the league and its allies demanded an end to the proposed closure of 27 schools, and to lack of services, and for scrapping of the proposed youth wage. They gave Zille until yesterday to respond – failing which
they would proceed with plans to make the city and province ungovernable by shutting down major routes and preventing people from going to work
. But yesterday the league said it would announce plans on the action today.
League regional committee member Loyiso Nkohla said Zille had not responded.
He said the league would consult its branches for a mandate on protest action.
De Lille said yesterday the city was working with police to ensure minimal disruption at major transport routes.
The city would also boost the number of metro police at key points throughout Cape Town.
Protests in the province came to a head last week when Zille and De Lille lodged intimidation complaints against the ANC, its youth league and its allies
Last night De Lille fingered the league after the Khayelitsha meeting ended in chaos.
“This is yet another example of how the ANCYL’s threat to make the city ungovernable is impeding the rights of law-
“Despite our best efforts to address the community, we had to call the meeting off in the interest of the safety of over 1 000 members of the community who were in attendance,” said De Lille.
She said the meeting would be rescheduled because the city “would not be deterred by the illegal actions of a small politically motivated minority”.
ANC Youth League Dullah Omar secretary Mfuzo Zenzile said: “The ANCYL cannot be blamed for what had transpired in Khayelitsha. We had nothing to do with it.
“The community disrupted the meeting based on their own feelings.
“The ANCYL will not use violence to make the city ungovernable.”
Khayelitsha resident Gloria Sahula said people refused to let De Lille speak because they were tired of hearing empty promises about housing and basic services.
“This comes from years of waiting… for nothing. We are living in dirty squatter camps. We want homes,” she said.
De Lille said of last night’s incident: “These threats cannot be viewed in isolation from recent calls made by the ANCYL to make the city and province ungovernable through disrupting transport routes.”
Meanwhile, Cosatu plans to approach the public protector and the Public Service Commission over intimidation complaints lodged against it.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said the union federation would file a complaint because the federation had not been part of the youth league’s action.
“For them to cite Cosatu is completely inappropriate. The fact that Cosatu may have, or may not have, been mentioned in the memorandum is neither here nor there because many organisations are mentioned from time to time in memorandums,” Ehrenreich said.
He said the fact that De Lille and Zille had not spoken to the youth league displayed arrogance.