Johannesburg - A planned march to the Western Cape's provincial legislature must be peaceful following the reinstatement of the ringleaders of last year's so-called “poo protests”, premier Helen Zille said on Tuesday.
“The ANC is set to march to the provincial legislature tomorrow [Wednesday] and Mr Lili and Mr Nkohla, now full members of the ANC again, have been making repeated threats of ungovernability against the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government,” Zille said in a statement.
Loyiso Nkohla and Andile Lili were welcomed back into the ANC, the party's provincial disciplinary committee chairman Fezile Calana said on Monday.
They were re-instated as fully-fledged members of the ANC.
“They can participate in structures just like any other person,” Calana said.
Zille said the move showed how disingenuous the African National Congress had been all along in trying to avoid blame for the rhetoric inciting violence and destructive riots that Lili and Nkohla were behind for months.
Nkohla was expelled from the party following his involvement in last year's dumping of human faeces during protests in the city.
Nkohla and Lili, a former City of Cape Town councillor, were charged with, among others, bringing the ANC into disrepute.
Lili was given a suspended three-year sentence, disqualifying him from participating in ANC activities for one year.
They led protesters in dumping faeces on, among others, the steps of the Western Cape legislature and at Cape Town International Airport last year.
Calana said they decided to uphold the appeal based on technical flaws in the regional disciplinary committee's (RDC) proceedings.
The RDC had contravened the ANC constitution by exceeding time limits set for certain processes.
“The constitution states that once a structure is unable to make a decision in six months, then they must request an extension from the national disciplinary committee and they did not do this.”
There had also been an issue with the way the transcriptions of sessions were handled and who was given access to the recordings, Calana said.
He said such technical issues needed to be dealt with in future.
Anticipating criticism regarding the committee's decision, Calana said: “Whether we had ruled in favour or not in favour of the appeal, one has to uphold the constitution.”
He said that while Nkohla and Lili had conducted a campaign that was not endorsed or led by the ANC, they had taken forward the struggles of residents.
Lili was given his marching orders by the City of Cape Town in March last year after a multi-party disciplinary committee found him guilty on charges related to the illegal demolition of houses.
The Western Cape High Court upheld his expulsion.
Lili's application for leave to appeal against the court's ruling was denied at the start of the month, the Cape Times reported.
The SA Communist Party welcomed Nkohla and Lili's reinstatement.
“We will never keep quiet when there is an attempt to silence those who are advancing the struggle of the working class,” SACP Brian Bunting district secretary Benson Ngqentsu said.
“Hence our view remains that discipline is meant to rehabilitate those who transgress the rules, not to victimise opponents and settle political scores.”
On Monday, the ANCYL in the Western Cape said the two men were an inspiration.
“It is our long-held view that instead of attacking and isolating brave young activists of our movement, we must commend and encourage them.”