Following the DA laying criminal complaints against two political parties on allegations of intimidation following clashes at Freedom Day rallies, one of the rival party has laid a counter charge against the party and its metro chairperson Dan Plato. Picture: File
Following the DA laying criminal complaints against two political parties on allegations of intimidation following clashes at Freedom Day rallies, one of the rival party has laid a counter charge against the party and its metro chairperson Dan Plato. Picture: File

DA and rival party lay counter criminal charges after clashes at Freedom Day rallies

By Tshego Lepule Time of article published May 2, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - Political rallies on Freedom Day that descended into stone-throwing sagas has resulted in the DA and members of a new rival party opening counter criminal cases against one another.

On Freedom Day, the DA held two events where they allege their members were accosted and intimidated by members of two new political parties in the province. Since then, the party has laid criminal charges against members of the African Restoration Alliance (ARA) as well as those from the Cape Coloured Congress (CCC).

At the first event where Cape Town mayor and the party’s metro chairperson Dan Plato was speaking, the party alleged the event was invaded by a group of ARA members who threw stones.

“Approximately 40 ARA members approached the DA event shouting through loud-hailers and intimidating members of the public and our youth,” said Plato.

“After community members showed their disapproval of this thuggish behaviour, the ARA members resorted to violence, throwing stones at both the community and members.”

The DA’s youth deputy chairperson Ashwin Jansen said another charge was laid with Elsies River Police after activists were attacked.

“We were celebrating Freedom Day in Leonsdale, Elsies River and violent CCC members ambushed our female activists and threw them with stones. Luckily no one was injured, however, it is especially disgusting that the CCC displayed such political intolerance on a day meant to celebrate our democratic rights,” he said.

“The DA will not be intimidated by thugs, the youth of the Cape Flats know gangsters when they see them. We encourage all young Capetonians to vote in this election and stop CCC gangsters from hijacking our city.

ARA’s national youth leader Cheslyn Swartz has rubbished claims by the DA and stated that their members were merely asking questions to the mayor who in turn became aggressive. On Saturday, the group also laid criminal charges against the DA claiming their member was assaulted by Plato.

“On Freedom Day our youth had a walkabout in the Cafda area and noticed that the DA and mayor were also present and Plato was hosting a question-and-answer session,” he said

“They asked a question and the responses they got were not good, Plato became irritated and aggressive and went up against one of our members and pushed his arm. We have video of this encounter and have opened a case of assault and intimidation.

“Plato’s behaviour towards our youth shows that he is a mayor that is incompetent, his aggressive behaviour is not right and we want people to see what kind of a person he is.

“The allegations they made against our members are just that - allegations. I don't think there was any stone-throwing, where is the evidence? The youth just went to ask questions, why did they block them. They aggravated the youth by forming a human chain to show that they are not welcome.

“This is a scare tactic for the ARA to back down and we won’t fall for it.”

Police spokesperson, FC van Wyk said: “(We) can confirm that a common assault case was opened for investigation at Steenberg SAPS by a member of a political party today. According to reports the incident occurred on Tuesday 27 April 2021 at about 5:15pm.”

Weekend Argus

Share this article: