Pretoria - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s Tshela Thupa rally is going ahead on Sunday at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville as planned.
The City of Tshwane on Friday eventually approved the rally, saying the party had complied with events joint operations centre (JOC) requirements. Tshwane convened a special JOC meeting to finalise matters pertaining to the final election campaign rally of the EFFon Sunday at the sports stadium.
Blessing Manale, spokesman for Tshwane, said the meeting was an attempt to find a solution to the dispute that had dragged on between the two parties since last week. The EFF hired the stadium, but the municipality cancelled the agreement, arguing the facility was due for maintenance.
“The city extended the EFF an opportunity to present to a special JOC meeting to satisfy the compliance requirements of the event and to enable it to place the necessary measures, including statutory notices for road closures,” he said.
The special JOC was scheduled after the EFF had failed to attend an ordinary meeting on Wednesday to present its full operational event plan as required by the Safety and Sports and Recreational Events Act as well as the Gatherings Act, thus risking hosting a non-compliant event. In terms of the conditions, all parties hosting events are required to provide the JOC with plans and certificates of compliance.
The plans cover aspects such as event overview, disaster management plan, catering certificates, transport plans, public liability insurance, waste management plan, plans for temporary structures, medical plans and application for noise control.
“We welcome the decision by EFF to comply fully with the city’s by-laws and emphasise that the City of Tshwane will continue to promote our constitutional values and ensure that all political parties operate freely in our city and everywhere, and accepts in good faith the guarantees for a peaceful event as made by the parties.”
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the JOC confirmed what the party had been saying all along – that it had complied with the regulations for hiring the stadium.
Ndlozi said thousands of EFF supporters would be attending the rally on Sunday. Tshela Thupa takes place at the same time as the ANC’s Siyanqoba rally at FNB Stadium in Joburg.
EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema will deliver a keynote address at Lucas Moripe, while ANC president Jacob Zuma will be main speaker at FNB Stadium.