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Cape Town - The looting of shops and vendors in central Cape Town on Wednesday has been condemned by Cope and the ANCYL.
President Jacob Zuma should condemn African National Congress Western Cape leader Marius Fransman and councillor Loyiso Nkohla for inciting looting, said Congress of the People spokesman Johann Abrie.
He alleged that the violence followed anti-Semitic remarks by Fransman to the Cape Town Press Club and calls by Nkohla to loot shops.
Some protesters looted shops and vendors, and damaged property during a protest in the CBD, said Captain Frederick van Wyk.
He said it appeared around 3500 people took part in the protest. No arrests had been made.
ANC Youth League Western Cape spokesman Muhammad Khalid Sayed said in a statement that there was no justification for the criminal activity in the CBD.
“Those responsible should be held accountable for their actions,” he said.
“No amount of frustration can be used as an excuse to harbour and protect thieves and looters.”
It was sad that the legitimate plight of people demanding quality service delivery and access to land was vulgarised by thugs hiding among people with legitimate concerns.
Abrie said that over the weekend, Nkohla told Nyanga residents: “You will not have to go hungry because there are so many places that you can loot in the CBD.”
He also allegedly told residents that the police could not arrest all of them because there would be too many people.
“President Zuma and the ANC’s lack to discipline their members might be interpreted as a silent endorsement of their actions,” said Abrie.
Sayed said the ANCYL would never support such anarchy.
“We live in a democratic South Africa where service delivery concerns ought to be championed within the framework of the law,” he said.
“We will always support our people in their genuine demands for a better life, but will never tolerate looting or violence as a method of protest.”
The ANC, and by implication the ANCYL, had always been and remained a peaceful and peace-loving movement in championing the legitimate concerns of all South Africans, said Sayed.
Fransman told the Cape Town Press Club on October 10 that ethnic division in Cape Town was a reality if one looked at property and land ownership.
He said the reality was that 98 percent of the land and property owners were white and, in particular, Jewish.
In an interview with the Voice of the Cape radio station in February, Fransman alleged that the Democratic Alliance had given Jewish businessmen building contracts previously held by Muslims in two Cape Town suburbs.
The DA said Fransman's claim was wrong and he knew this, because he had dealt with or signed most of the leases himself.
The SA Jewish Board of Deputies lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission, which arranged a mediation process.
The complaint was that Fransman had made demeaning and inflammatory remarks that could create animosity between Muslims and Jews.
The ANC in the Western Cape was not available for comment.