Cape Town - Plans are in place for the ANC Youth League’s Economic Freedom march on Monday.
The league had declared Monday a public holiday for Western Cape residents so that no one would miss out on the opportunity to march, the league’s provincial chairman, Khaya Yozi, said at a press briefing on Thursday.
The briefing was attended by members of several trade unions, and political and community organisations backing the march.
”We are officially declaring Monday a holiday for Western Cape’s citizens. No work as we make this city ungovernable. No taxis will be in operation; those who will be on the road will be transporting people to the march… for free,” said Yozi.
Premier Helen Zille slammed this as unconstitutional and criminal intimidation.
“This is clearly a thinly veiled threat against public transport and commuters, and is part of the ANCYL’s ungovernability campaign which will gravely harm the very people they claim to speak for,” she said.
The ANCYL plans to march to the provincial legislature from Salt River station at 7.30am to hand a memorandum to Zille. It said it was expecting thousands of people.
Zille said she had received a letter from the league asking her to meet it on Monday, but she would accept the memorandum only if the league publicly withdrew threats to make the city and the province ungovernable.
But according to a Cape Times report, Yozi, defiantly said at the press briefing: “We will not apologise, we are going to hand over the memorandum and that is it. Who must we apologise to? We don’t owe anyone an apology.
“The ANCYL will make the economic hub of the city ungovernable. Zille is still diverting issues and bringing unfounded and baseless allegations towards the ANCYL associating us with violence, destroying public property, killing of people and anarchy which has nothing to do with the ANCYL. We believe that it is the government of the Western Cape that failed these people which has led to their subsequent deaths through these violent protests,” Yozi said.
In a letter to the ANCYL this week, Zille reminded them that she and Mayor Patricia de Lille had lodged a complaint with the police about the youth league’s threats.
“Accepting your memorandum on Monday, would be tantamount to condoning these threats and the violent protests that have followed during the last four weeks,” Zille wrote.
She said she would only be willing to engage in a constructive manner on issues relevant to the Western Cape government’s service delivery mandate if the ANCYL accedes to her request for a public retraction and apology.
Yozi said: “We believe that, if we apologise, we admit that we are behind public protest, violence and killings. There is no apology coming from the ANCYL.” He said it was Zille who should apologise.
“This is ironic in the extreme coming from Khaya Yozi. He himself lives in an RDP house and has benefited from Western Cape government service delivery,” Zille said in response.
Yozi added: “On Monday our people will stop being slaves in this economy, they must be part of making the province ungovernable. Workers must have a holiday on Monday and demand service delivery and display their grievances.”
Zille said: “This continuing threatening shows the ANCYL is trying to entrench people’s exclusion from the economy, and cause people to lose their jobs. This will simply make people much poorer.”
Cape Argus with additional reporting by Zara Nicholson of the Cape Times