DURBAN – THE Durban leg of the Ahmed Kathrada memorial set to be held at the Sastri College in Greyville on Sunday will go ahead with supporters of the ANC Youth League allowed to attend, the Durban High Court ruled on Saturday.
The youth league called on it's members to attend the memorial in ANC regalia sporting the face of President Jacob Zuma.
The civil organisation, the Active Citizen's Movement (ACM) had made an urgent application to the court to bar members of the ANCYL from attending following reports that the group would disrupt proceedings following a wave of anti-Zuma sentiments echoed at #KathradaMemorial events around the country since his death.
The court ruled that the youth league could not be barred from attending as the event was a public one and aside of the speakers who had been invited, it was open to the public and no invites had been extended.
KwaZulu-Natal Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay said in a statement on Saturday that he had been part of mediation talks between the ACM and the ANCYL as the parties were not engaging each other directly.
"There was serious engagement between two parties who had not spoken directly to each other before. Notwithstanding the lack of agreement I believe this engagement is a basis for further dialogue. The court order in any event captures most of the elements of a settlement," he said late on Saturday night.
Pillay said the court application had been brought to court by ACM and not axed finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who is one of the invited guest speakers. The other is ANC KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala, who is thought to be a Zuma ally. Albertina Luthuli, the daughter of former ANC President Albert Luthuli is expected to attend.
"It is the ANC’s political responsibility to reach out and engage," said Pillay.
Zikalala and Gordhan had spoken and it was agreed that the memorial service would be one of "dignity and decorum befitting the iconic stature" of Struggle veteran Kathrada.
"We have a responsibility to lead especially in difficult times. We must give confidence to wider society that we at all times seek solutions to problems that arise and genuinely serve the public interest," he said.
Meanwhile, the KZN ANCYL welcomed the court judgment in a statement late on Saturday.
The provincial executive committee of the ANCYL called on members of the youth league to come out en masse donning President Jacob Zuma branded ANC regalia to the memorial on Sunday.
"The youth league calls upon all its members to come out in numbers to pay tribute to this giant of the struggle. Cde Kathrada was a true revolutionary and a memorial service in his honour must be prioritized by members of the youth league.
"As the youth league we undertake to behave in a manner in keeping with the traditions of the movement, a tolerant organization of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and others.
"It is the view of the ANC Youth League that all its members must attend the memorial wearing their full ANC regalia bearing the face of the President Jacob Zuma. The Youth League must pay tribute to veteran of the ANC," the youth league said.