Cape Town - Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla, this week readmitted to the ANC, have made an about-turn and announced that their group, Ses’khona Peoples Rights Movement, would endorse the ruling party.
Earlier this week, they criticised the ANC, saying Ses’khona would not support the party until it delivered for the poor.
Yet, at an ANC-endorsed Nehawu march on provincial parliament on Thursday, the two were surprise speakers.
Nkohla was met with cheers as he took the microphone after other alliance leaders pledged messages of support to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union.
Nkohla said Ses’khona, infamous for two violent marches and clashes with police in the CBD in recent months, would actively campaign for the ANC to ensure that Premier Helen Zille and the DA were “kicked out” of the provincial government in the May 7 general elections.
On Wednesday, Lili and Nkohla told the Cape Argus Ses’khona would not support the ANC unless it released land for housing. “It’s not like (the ANC) liked us. They are obsessed with the number of our followers.”
Songezo Mjongile, provincial secretary of the ANC, denied that the size of Ses’khona’s support base influenced the decision to have the pair welcomed back into the party.
“There were flaws found in the process via which they were expelled and suspended (respectively),” he said.
“Ses’khona is not a political party. Their supporters came from the support base of the ANC all along.”
Thursday’s Nehawu march on the provincial legislature was the second march of hundreds of ANC supporters against the DA government in two days. On Wednesday a smaller group, led directly by the ANC, also marched.
Zille’s spokesman Zak Mbhele described Thursday’s march as “nothing more than empty electioneering”.
“Nehawu’s claims of job-shedding in the provincial government are false and without basis. The truth is… in many areas there have been increases in government jobs.
“If Nehawu was truly concerned about the state of unemployment, it should spend more time lobbying within Cosatu to have the trade union federation throw its full support behind the youth wage subsidy, which would help alleviate our national crisis of youth unemployment.”
Lili and Nkohla joined Thursday’s march after their appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, where they are on trial with Thembela Mbanjwa and Songeza Mvandaba for allegedly throwing buckets of human faeces on the steps of the provincial legislature in June last year.
Duncan Korabie, for the men, cross-examined the first State witness, police Constable Mxolisi Mdodi, about whether he followed correct procedure when arresting and taking a statement from Lili.
He suggested that Mdodi had not informed Lili of his rights, and that his statement was taken in English despite Xhosa being his home language.
The case was postponed until June.