We will behave at Kathrada memorial - ANCYL KZN

2017-04-08 09:46
The late Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

The late Ahmed Kathrada (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

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Durban - The ANC Youth League says its members plan to attend Sunday's memorial service for ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada in Durban - and promises that they will behave

The organisers of the event, The Active Citizens Group, are seeking an interdict in the High Court in Durban to bar the ANCYL from attending, saying they fear for the safety of keynote speaker, axed finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

The organisation filed their urgent application on Friday, but the matter was delayed for the ANCYL to file an opposing affidavit, which it did late on Friday night.

The head of The Active Citizens Group, 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" (an agent for monopoly capital) and “in present times it is the most serious accusation that can be directed at a person”.

Others had openly questioned Gordhan's loyalty to the ANC and there was a “clear threat of intimidation and violence”.

'No intention' to disrupt memorial service

ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo says this is 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.”

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.

'Inflammatory, inciting and provocative remarks'

Madokwe, in response, said as recently as Friday, during protest marches in Pietermaritzburg and Durban, ANCYL members had behaved badly, attacking people who were 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.

If the interdict is granted, ANCYL members may not be in the vicinity of Sastri College for two hours before the memorial and an hour after it has finished.

They are also not to assault, threaten to assault, intimidate or harass any person attending, and cannot disrupt proceedings by shouting, hurling abuse, heckling, or throwing furniture.

Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  thanduxolo sabelo  |  ahmed kathrada  |  pravin gordhan  |  durban  |  politics

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