DA wins appeal on march

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IOL pic feb3 gavel da march go ahead sxc.hu

Johannesburg -

The decision by police to deny the Democratic Alliance permission to march to the African National Congress headquarters was overturned by the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Sunday, the DA said.

“We won the case and the prohibition by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) was set aside,” said federal council chairman James Selfe.

“I'm still waiting to get the judgment but I was informed... the DA had complied with all provisions of the (Regulation of Gatherings) Act and the reasons given by the JMPD were not convincing.”

Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said earlier: “The protest march by the DA... has been prohibited on the grounds that there would be a security risk to protesters.”

The opposition party had intended to march to the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, in the Johannesburg CBD on Tuesday as part of its “fight for jobs”.

Selfe said, following the court's decision, that the DA would probably not march on Tuesday, but would put in another application to march on another day once logistical arrangements had been rescheduled.

Earlier on Sunday, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement that the decision to prevent the march “confirms our long-held view that the DA's intended invasion of Luthuli House was ill-advised, ill-informed and risky”.

“We would have welcomed the opportunity to educate the DA that successive ANC governments have turned around a collapsing and nearly bankrupt economy in 1994 into a thriving one with growth rates averaging 3.6 percent annually consistently over the last two decades.”

He said the ANC remained willing to engage with society, including the DA, on the issues covered in the ANC election manifesto.

“Such an engagement may indeed prove fruitful to the DA in order to mask their lack of clear policy positions on the economy and other areas of socio-economic endeavour,” Mthembu said.

Previously he warned the DA not to provoke the ruling party.

He warned the DA about what happened when it marched to the Congress of South African 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. - Sapa


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