US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle walk from Marine One to the White House in Washington on May 5, 2012 after returning from campaign stops in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM

Cosatu, opposition parties and NGOs have united and are threatening “the biggest mass action” against the awarding of the Freedom of the City to US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.

Cosatu’s provincial secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, accused mayor Patricia De Lille’s DA of “playing party politics” and “dividing the city” at a press conference on Wednesday.

Achmat Williams of the National Party of SA claimed that DA councillors had not even known about the decision until De Lille announced it.

The African Christian Democratic Party’s chief whip, Demi Dudley, who attended the press conference, said he disagreed with how the process had taken place.

“She didn’t come to the parties or the people – it makes a farce of the democratic system.

“We also don’t agree with the blanket statements that are anti-Israel that are included in the (anti-Obama) statement read out today,” he said.

Asked if the DA was approached about the decision, Ehrenreich, who is also leader of the opposition and ANC in council, said they had but the DA had forced the decision through a vote.

“They have refused to engage with us,” he said.

Yahya Adams of the Africa Muslim Party said: “The DA is starting to reflect ANC attitudes by making unilateral decisions.”

Cope, the United Democratic Movement, the Muslim Judicial Council and Al-Jamaa said they were also disappointed and disheartened at the decision.

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Cape Argus