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DA sets date for march to Luthuli House

2014-02-05 21:54
(Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Johannesburg - The DA will march to the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg next week, party leader Helen Zille said on Wednesday.

"At a meeting with the Johannesburg metro police today [Wednesday], the DA secured the right to march for six million real jobs... on Wednesday 12 February," she said in a statement.

"We have stated all along that we will march legally and peacefully."

The Democratic Alliance intended marching to the African National Congress's headquarters, Luthuli House, in the Johannesburg CBD as part of its "fight for jobs".

Zille said there was nothing provocative about this as the ANC had claimed.

The party was scheduled to march on Tuesday but postponed the event after appealing in court a decision by the metro police stopping the DA from marching.

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Sunday overturned the metro police's decision.

When the DA first announced its decision to march, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu warned the party not to provoke the ruling party.

He warned the DA about what happened when it marched to the Congress of SA Trade Unions' office two years ago.

Cosatu members threw stones at DA supporters as they made their way to the lawns of the Joburg Theatre, 50m from the trade union federation's office.

Riot police were alerted and teargas and water cannon were used.

Mthembu said the ANC did not want to be put in the same situation and called on the DA to reconsider the march.

On Sunday before the court judgment, Mthembu said the decision to prevent the march confirmed the ANC's long-held view that the DA's march was ill-advised, ill-informed and risky.

"We would have welcomed the opportunity to educate the DA that successive ANC governments have turned around a collapsing and nearly bankrupt economy in 1994 into a thriving one with growth rates averaging 3.6% annually consistently over the last two decades."

He said the ANC remained willing to engage with society, including the DA, on the issues covered in the ANC election manifesto.

"Such an engagement may indeed prove fruitful to the DA in order to mask their lack of clear policy positions on the economy and other areas of socio-economic endeavour," Mthembu said at the time.

ANC members gathered outside Luthuli House on Tuesday for a blitz campaign in the CBD. This was after the DA march had been called off.

Zille said: "We trust that the JMPD will prevent the ANC from disrupting the DA's march next week.

"To our knowledge, no permission has been granted to the ANC to hold such a gathering."

- SAPA
Read more on: da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  jackson mthembu  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014  |  politics

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