DA to appeal Luthuli House march decision

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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 DA on Friday said it would appeal the Johannesburg metro police department's decision to stop it from marching to ANC headquarters.

“We are not going to take this lying down,” Democratic Alliance federal council chairman James Selfe said in a statement.

“We have a constitutional right to assemble, demonstrate and picket if we so wish.”

He said the DA had asked its lawyers to prepare an appeal to be lodged with the magistrate's court in terms of the Regulation of Gatherings Act.

Selfe said the DA submitted its application to march well before the 14-day window period for permission.

“Since then, the JMPD has strung us along by delaying meetings, giving us verbal permission several times but refusing to put it in writing, and by placing every possible bureaucratic obstacle in our way.

“During this time, the ANC’s intimidation and threats of violence have been a constant noise in the background.”

Last week, DA leader Helen Zille said she would lead 6 000 of her party's supporters on a march to Luthuli House in the Johannesburg CBD on February 4 to take the “fight for jobs” to the African National Congress.

She said each DA supporter would represent 1 000 unemployed people.

“We are taking the fight to Luthuli House to highlight the failure of (President) Jacob Zuma's ANC to cut corruption and create jobs.”

Zille said the DA would expose the ANC manifesto pledge of creating six million job opportunities as bogus.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the DA was provoking the ruling party. He warned the DA about what happened when it marched to the Congress of SA Trade Unions' office two years ago.

Cosatu members threw stones at DA supporters as they made their way to the lawns of the Joburg (formerly the Civic) Theatre, 50m from the trade union federation's office.

Riot police were called and teargas and water cannons 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.

Selfe said no political party in a democracy had a right to intimidate other parties. The DA would not be deterred by what he called the ANC's threats, he said.

“We have every intention of going through with this march, but will do so responsibly, peacefully and within the law.”

Sapa



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