ANCYL cannot 'harrass or remove' anyone speaking at Kathrada memorial - court

2017-04-08 17:17
Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

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Durban - Members of the ANC Youth League have been barred from assaulting, intimidating or harassing anyone attending the memorial of struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada on Sunday.

They can, however, attend the event.

Durban High Court judge, Rashid Vahed, ruled that the interdict includes ANCYL members "removing or threatening to remove any of the speakers" either before, during or after they have spoken.

Vahed also ordered that the league communicate to its members - via media and social media - the undertaking its KZN leadership gave not to disrupt the event in any way.

Judge Vahed recorded that representatives of the league were present in court when the order was made.

The organisers of the event, The Active Citizens Group, brought the urgent application, seeking an interdict to bar the ANCYL from the event, saying they fear for the safety of keynote speaker axed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The matter was set down for argument on Saturday morning, but stood down after Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Ravi Pillay arrived at court, apparently to "negotiate" a settlement.

This came to naught and, after hearing counsel for both sides, the judge finally made his ruling just after 15:00.

ANCYL provincial spokesperson Mandla Shange said they would attend the memorial on Sunday. 

"The court has obviously dismissed the application of Pravin and ruled in our favour. We will definitely attend the memorial of our stalwart on Sunday," Shange said, referring to the urgent application which had initially wanted them barred from the event completely.

"Impimpi"

In his affidavit, the Active Citizens Group’s Benedictor Madokwe said 1 000 people were expected to attend the event at Sastri College.

He said representatives of the youth league were on record as calling Gordhan an  "impimpi" (enemy agent) and "in present times it is the most serious accusation that can be directed at a person".

Others had openly questioned his loyalty to the ANC and there was a "clear threat of intimidation and violence".

ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said this was not true.

In his affidavit, he says any comments he made about memorial services for Kathrada were made in a closed meeting.

"I have no idea how it got into the media… I dispute they are altogether accurate. Criticising Gordhan and questioning his loyalty to the ANC are not the same."

He said there was no threat to disrupt the memorial.

"We intend to attend to pay tribute and homage to our struggle icon, Uncle Kathy. [There is] no determination to disrupt the memorial. It would be unbefitting to the honour of Uncle Kathy," Sabelo said.

He said if Gordhan had any fears he should speak for himself.

Regarding comments he made that the league would attend to "correct any distortions about the ANC… and anyone who attacked the ANC at the event would be removed from the podium," he said, "This statement was only meant to convey that deliberate distortions cannot be left uncorrected and that people who do so are not worthy of the podium. Corrections may include media statements or the like".

Sjambokked

Remarks by the national leadership of the ANCYL that opponents of Zuma would be sjambokked were "metaphoric and should not be taken literally," he said.

Members had attended other memorials and had behaved and would do so again on Sunday.

"We are determined to attend with an honest intention to pay tribute to our icon and we will sensitise our members, now that the applicant’s fear has come to the fore," Sabelo said.

Madokwe, in response, said as recently as yesterday, during protest marches in Pietermaritzburg and Durban, ANCYL members had behaved badly, attacking people wearing DA t-shirts.

"This leads to a strong strong possibility that this violence was a response to the highly inflammatory, inciting and provocative remarks by Sabelo.

"We do not accept their assurances. Their intention is to disrupt the memorial... if any speaker says something which might be in conflict with their opinion," he said.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  ahmed kathrada  |  durban  |  politics

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