Johannesburg - Stay out of Joburg’s CBD on Wednesday, advises the JMPD as they brace themselves for a march by about 6 000 DA members that could lead to violent confrontation with ANC members.
Added to this is an anticipated traffic back-up because of road closures in the CBD due to the filming of a new Avengers movie.
A heavy police presence is expected. The DA has also appointed marshals to exercise crowd control to protect its members.
The expectation of violence arises from the noisy gathering outside Luthuli House last week when ANC members anticipated the march on that day. It was postponed but ANC members, some brandishing sticks, knobkieries and Taser guns, continued to gather, threatening to “teach the DA a lesson”.
The ANC’s Gauteng provincial secretary David Makhura has assured authorities there will be no violence and ANC members will simply be there “to welcome the DA and teach them about our party’s economic policies”.
The DA, led by Helen Zille, had planned to march to Luthuli House in Sauer Street, but the JMPD has restricted the march to end at Library Gardens, half a block away from the ANC headquarters.
DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane, DA federal chairman Wilmot James and DA youth leader Mbali Ntuli will take part.
The DA is leading the march for “real” jobs. It wishes to “expose the ANC’s promise of 6 million work opportunities as nothing more than temporary public works placements” and contrast it with the 6 million real jobs it has committed to creating.
JMPD spokeswoman Edna Mamoyane said all officers, even those on their days off, would be on standby in case of violence.
“We are prepared. We are talking to the film company to start filming at 1pm when the march will be over to alleviate traffic and other problems,” she said.
The march starts at 10.30am from the Westgate Transport Hub.