Pretoria - A sudden withdrawal of permission to host a rally at the Lucas Moripe stadium in Pretoria was politically motivated, the Economic Freedom Fighters said on Friday.
“The municipality had first argued that there was a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match. However, the PSL agreed to move their match upon being requested by the EFF,” spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
“The municipality then granted the EFF permission to use the stadium, EFF paid for the stadium and signed the lease agreement. Posters were printed and buses for EFF supporters were paid, including other logistical requirements.”
He said on Friday morning the municipality sent a note indicating that the permission had been withdrawn as there would be maintenance work on the stadium on the day of the rally, May 4.
“The EFF holds a strong view that this has nothing to do with maintenance, but political instructions that merely seek to deny EFF the right to gather. If May 4, 2014 was scheduled for maintenance, then why was the PSL going to use the stadium on that day?”
He said the EFF approached the High Court in Pretoria on Friday seeking an urgent application to compel the municipality to adhere to the signed agreement.
“The court must force the municipality to comply,” said Ndlozi.
The May 4 “Tshela Thupa rally”, was meant to be the EFF's final assembly before the May 7 national elections.
Repeated efforts to get comment from the Tshwane municipality were unfruitful.