‘ANC members must protect their building’

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iol news pic Luthuli House generic Independent Newspapers Traffic passes outside Luthuli House in the Johannesburg CBD. File picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - The application for a protective order against the planned DA march is to allow African National Congress members to protect their building, an official said on Tuesday.

“We are asking the court to allow ANC members to protect their building,” spokesman Keith Khoza told Sapa.

“We are very suspicious of their (Democratic Alliance) behaviour.”

DA leader Helen Zille will lead her party members in a march to the African National Congress's headquarters for “real” jobs on Wednesday.

The party had 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.

The DA has said it will be a peaceful march.

Khoza said the ANC did not believe the DA would end their much at Bayers Naude Square.

“Their intention is to come to Luthuli House,” he said.

Khoza said the ANC was busy with court proceedings.

The DA's Gauteng leader John Moodey rubbished the claims and accused the ANC of grasping at straws.

“They are desperate because they know they can't keep control of their members. We are a disciplined organisation and comply with the law,” he said.

“They are the ones who come with militant behaviour by sending out the MK 1/8Umkhonto we Sizwe 3/8 with military uniform and intimidate people.”

The ANC's Jackson Mthembu said in a statement that the move was necessitated by information at their disposal of the DA contracting private security guards who would be armed to be part of the march.

“In addition they have booked a hospital, procured helmets and shields, and organised emergency services to be on standby.”

He said it was clear that the DA had no intention of conducting a peaceful event. Mthembu said the application was to ensure that there was no potential for incidents of intimidation and provocation.

When the DA first announced its intention to march, Mthembu warned the party not to provoke the ANC.

He warned the DA about what happened when it marched to the Congress of SA Trade Unions' office two years ago.

Cosatu members clashed with DA supporters as they made their way to the lawns of the Joburg (formerly the Civic) Theatre, 50 metres from the trade union federation's office. Stones were thrown and a number of people were left injured. Riot police were alerted and teargas and water cannon were used.

Mthembu said the ANC did not want to be put in the same situation and called on the DA to reconsider the march.

Mthembu on Tuesday claimed the march was part of the DA's “desperate and high-risk stunts” in order to capture the political limelight.

“However this time the risks they are taking places ordinary people in danger.

“When they march with weapons and hired gunmen, they are taking us back to an era when violence and conflict defined our political environment,” he said.

Sapa



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