ANCYL gets ultimatum to apologise for Kathrada memorial disruption

2017-04-13 12:05
A member of the ANCYL attends the final memorial service for struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada in Durban. (Matthew Kay, AFP)

A member of the ANCYL attends the final memorial service for struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada in Durban. (Matthew Kay, AFP)

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Durban - The African National Congress Youth League has been given an ultimatum to apologise for violating a court order and disrupting Ahmed Kathrada's memorial service, the event's organisers said on Thursday.

If it failed to publish a public apology in newspapers, the Active Citizens Movement intended returning to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban to seek a contempt of court order and any sanction the judge deemed fit.

The movement had sought an interdict barring ANCYL members from attending the memorial, which took place in Durban on Sunday. It said it feared for the safety of keynote speaker, axed finance minister Pravin Gordhan.

After promises from ANCYL leaders that they would behave, KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Rashid Vahed ruled that they could attend.

He, however, interdicted them from any "assaults, intimidation or harassment and any attempt to remove any of the speakers".

ANCYL members disrupted proceedings, heckling and booing speakers.

- Read more: Final Kathrada memorial marred by ANCYL disruptions

The ACM's lawyer, Viren Singh, said there was overwhelming evidence that the unlawful conduct of ANCYL KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo and his fellow members constituted an attack on the rule of law and the Constitution. He called for an appropriate response and censure.

"However, as a responsible civil society organisation, it is the duty of my client to explore other means to resolve the dispute and only resort to litigation if all else fails," Singh wrote in a letter.

He proposed that the league furnish an "unconditional and unequivocal apology to Kathrada's family, the movement, and the people of South Africa" through paid-for advertisements in the Sunday press and local daily newspapers.

The apology should include a written undertaking never to repeat such conduct. Singh gave the league until Saturday afternoon to confirm its response to his letter.

"The league must also undertake, as it has publicly stated, to identify the disruptive members and institute disciplinary hearings against them within seven days. It must revert to us within 21 days with a report of the disciplinary measures taken," Singh wrote.

Unless the proposal was accepted and complied with, contempt proceedings would be instituted and the ACM would seek a punitive costs order.

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

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