Zuma urged to condemn protest violence

2012-08-15 22:41
President Jacob Zuma (File, Beeld)

President Jacob Zuma (File, Beeld)

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Cape town - President Jacob Zuma was urged on Wednesday to condemn violence during recent protests in Cape Town.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said she and Mayor Patricia de Lille had written to Zuma, in his capacity as president of the ANC, on the matter.

They asked him to publicly condemn the "ANC Youth League’s violent attempts to make the City of Cape Town ungovernable".

"Our letter to the president today follows the direct threats by the African National Congress Youth League in the Western Cape to 'make this city and the province ungovernable' and the subsequent sustained and co-ordinated campaign by the ANCYL over the last two weeks to incite violent protests in Cape Town," Zille told reporters at Parliament.

The protests had already resulted in four deaths, numerous serious injuries, the destruction of public property, and the violent disruption of an official community report-back meeting.

Zille said this was not the first time she had written to Zuma about the "seditious threats of prominent members of the ANCYL" in the province.

"In fact, we have been warning the president for over two years that the ANCYL in the Western Cape has spun dangerously out of control, and that he should act to defend the constitutional order and uphold the outcome of a democratic election in the Western Cape."

A recent service delivery report-back meeting by De Lille in Khayelitsha was violently broken up by a group of youths, some of whom were clearly wearing ANCYL berets.

CCTV footage of riots along the N2 showed how protests were centrally co-ordinated and controlled, with people using loud-hailers.

Zille said all the evidence, video tapes, and written threats had been given to police and it "is now up to them to investigate, identify the individuals responsible, lay the appropriate charges, and ensure cases succeed in court".

"During a [provincial] Cabinet briefing today [Wednesday] it became clear that there are elements within the ANC Youth League actively involved behind the violent events of the past week, and the State Security Agency and the South African Police Service were tasked with investigating this matter further. The matter is being taken seriously."

In the face of what the ANCYL had itself said and done over the past few weeks, its subsequent denial of any involvement "rings completely hollow", she said.

ANCYL regional secretary Mfuzo Zenzile has denied any members were involved in the protests on a political level.

Deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman, who is also Western Cape ANC chairperson, on Tuesday told a National Assembly sitting that the protests in the province were as a result of a "lack of service delivery".

He rejected allegations from the DA and the Congress of the People that it was part of an ANCYL attempt to make the city ungovernable.

"The reality is if there's protest action in other provinces, then they say there are service delivery problems. In the Western Cape there are service delivery problems," Fransman said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cope  |  da  |  anc  |  ancyl  |  marius fransman  |  jacob zuma  |  helen zille  |  patricia de lille  |  cape town  |  politics  |  service delivery
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