Johannesburg - The ANC filed an urgent application in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday in a bid to secure a protection order against an alleged threat by the DA.
“We are at court right now. Our papers are ready. We are just waiting for the judge,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said at around 7am on Wednesday.
“We have a duty to protect our headquarters, protect our members, and protect our assets. We are not saying they should not march, but if they pose a threat to our headquarters, what do we do?”
He said this was necessary as the Democratic Alliance had secured the services of a security firm “armed to the teeth” with batons, helmets, and shields.
Mthembu said the ANC was confident of winning the application.
Cameron Arendse, spokesman for DA leader Helen Zille, said the party would have representatives at the court, and would fight for their democratic right to march.
In a statement on Tuesday, Arendse said the DA had repeatedly said it would hold a peaceful march in downtown Johannesburg for “real jobs”.
“Any security precautions we are taking are defensive, not offensive.
“These precautions are based on a responsible assessment of the risk to our own members and activists,” he said.
“We are all too mindful of the inability of the SA Police Service and the Johannesburg metro police department to protect our members.”
He said the application by the ruling party was a last ditch attempt to stop the march, as the ANC was afraid that the DA would show how the ruling party had failed unemployed South Africans.
The party originally said it would march to the ANC's headquarters, Luthuli House, in the Johannesburg CBD but this plan was thwarted by metro police.
The party would instead march to Beyers Naude Square, a block away from Luthuli House.
It would be led by Zille, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane, DA federal chairman Wilmot James, and youth leader Mbali Ntuli. - Sapa