SACP accuses DA of attacking ANC

2014-01-23 21:21
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - The DA's intended march to the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg is an attack on the ruling party, the SA Communist Party said on Thursday.

"The... provocative march to Luthuli House should be viewed as a desperate action by an opposition party that has realised it does not stand to win elections," spokesperson Alex Mashilo said in a statement.

"The SACP fully agrees with the ANC in cautioning the DA against taking the battle to Luthuli House."

On Wednesday, DA leader Helen Zille said she would lead 6 000 of her party's supporters in a march to Luthuli House in the Johannesburg CBD on 4 February to take the "fight for jobs" to the ANC.

She said each DA supporter would represent 1 000 unemployed people.

"We are taking the fight to Luthuli House to highlight the failure of [President] Jacob Zuma's ANC to cut corruption and create jobs."

Zille said the DA would expose the ANC manifesto pledge of creating six million job opportunities as "bogus".

In response, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the DA was provoking the ruling party.

"What happens if our members come to protect Chief Albert Luthuli House? We should remind them what happened when they marched somewhere [Cosatu]."

Mthembu was referring to a DA march in 2012 to the Cosatu’s office in Braamfontein.

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

Riot police were called to the scene and tear gas and water cannons were fired.

Mthembu said the ANC did not want to be put in the same situation.

DA calls for retraction

Following Mthembu's comments, DA Gauteng leader John Moodey, said Mthembu should retract his remarks on the matter.

"Mthembu’s remarks are reckless and irresponsible and he must retract them immediately," said Moodey.

"Mthembu must also ensure that his party undertakes to guarantee that the DA’s constitutional right to gather and protest will be respected, and that the DA leader and supporters will be received peacefully."

On Thursday, the ANC Youth League also warned the DA not to march to Luthuli House.

"[This] will be a direct provocation of more than 400 000 members of the ANC Youth League who will defend it at any time of the day," national convenor Mzwandile Masina said in a statement.

"Should the DA dare march to Chief Albert Luthuli House, they shall face the full anger of ANC Youth League members and the Progressive Youth Alliance."

Masina made reference to the 1994 shooting at the ANC's Shell House headquarters. ANC security guards killed 19 IFP members following a tip-off that IFP marchers were planning to attack the building.

"We do not want the experience of the unfortunate... march to Shell House to repeat itself. It cannot be even imagined," he said.

Moodey said it was unacceptable in a constitutional democracy for a political party to threaten those who challenged it on the basis of its policies.

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