Politics / 25 October 2011, 10:04am / BALDWIN NDABA AND ANNA COX
Julius Malema has warned the spooks that the ANC Youth League marches to Sandton and the Union Buildings will go ahead as planned – despite their efforts to stop them.
Malema has accused the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in various provinces of using “apartheid (era) tactics” to intimidate and threaten ANCYL members and business people who had committed to transport marchers to Joburg.
The youth league leader alleged that NIA members had visited the homes of several bus owners and had threatened them not to make transport available to the marches or run the risk of losing future government contracts.
“The NIA members went to bus owners in KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga and questioned the owners about who (would) be paying for their buses.
“We cannot allow state agencies to continue unleashing terror in a democratic country. We also cannot allow apartheid tactics to continue. Their tactics would give marchers more reasons to come out in their numbers,” he said.
He said the NIA had demanded to know the personal details of the bus owners, including the details of their drivers.
Malema said several bus owners had withdrawn buses, but taxi owners had not.
“You know taxi owners are not easily intimidated, they are fighters. They do not need tenders as they rely on the people on the streets. We have also asked our provincial structures to identify trucks and bakkies and all other forms of transport to bring them to the marches.
“You (NIA) are talking to the wrong people. Come here if you want answers. Come to us. You are powerful in your own space but not in our lives,” he said.
NIA spokesman Brian Dube was phoned three times for comment, without success.
Malema said the City of Joburg and the Greater Tshwane municipality had wanted an upfront payment of R1 million for the marches to take place in both cities.
“We told them that we do not have R1 million… They must be happy that we applied for permission. During uprisings, people do not apply for permission,” he said.
However, Joburg metro police spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane said the ANCYL had made an undertaking to pay the amount.
“They said they would not be able to raise R1 million by Thursday, but they gave us a signed agreement, which we have in black and white, that they will accept responsibility for any damage or vandalism their members cause along the protest routes, and we will hold them to that,” she said.
She said this would be particularly enforced because of the violence that took place in the Joburg CBD during the ANC’s disciplinary hearing of Malema at Luthuli House in August.
Motorists have been asked to avoid the protest routes.
Malema responded to statements by SACP leader Blade Nzimande and the Young Communist League (YCL) that the ANCYL marches were aimed at bringing down the ANC government, saying “there is no reason to rise and demand the collapse of this government”.
The league said it expected 5 000 people to march. It also planned to use 1 000 marshals and to hire a private security company to monitor the marchers’ conduct.
Malema said the ANC had given the go-ahead to the march because the protesters’ demands were genuine. The top leadership had advised the league to look out for agents provocateurs.
“We never asked schoolchildren to participate in the marches. Our marches are about unemployment and a lack of houses,” Malema said in response to the YCL, which had claimed on Sunday that schoolchildren would be affected by the marches. - The Star