Mayor challenges DA over 'incitement' court action

2017-04-09 18:28
eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Netwerk24)

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede. (Netwerk24)

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Durban - eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has called on the DA to prove its allegations that she incited violence during last week’s anti-Zuma march in Durban.  

She is also preparing to challenge media reports over such remarks.

“We are going to approach the SABC and the press ombudsman to investigate the allegations quoting the mayor calling the march treason. She did not make those claims and such reporting and DA statements attributing those claims to her is false and damaging to her reputation.

"The mayor has stated clearly that marches which are illegal will be dealt with. This did not relate to marches with proper permission,” said mayoral spokesperson Mthunzi Gumede.

The controversy over the statements follows an assault on a DA member allegedly by members of the ANCYL during the march last Friday and widely reported claims that the mayor called the march "an act of treason" during an interview with national SABC radio channel, SAfm.  

The provincial DA has laid a charge against ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo over the assault and a charge of incitement against Gumede.

“It doesn’t matter whether the mayor made those claims or not. What matters is that it’s been reported by the media and is enough to make her supporters retaliate because they view it as the message from their leader. If she did not make those claims, then she needs to take it up with the SABC.

"It’s not for us to judge whether what was attributed to her is true or not. We believe those statements incited the violence against one of our members and that she must be held responsible for that. We have done the correct thing by lodging a case against both the ANCYL and the city mayor,” the DA's Zwakhele Mncwango told News24.

However, Gumede’s spokesperson has lashed out at the DA’s response, calling it "frivolous".  

“This is ridiculous. They (the DA) want to charge the mayor for comments she did not make. How does that work in the real world? The media got it wrong, but the mayor needs to be charged for that. I have listened to the interview and nowhere does the mayor make any statements about inciting violence or calling this treason.

"This is all about point scoring by the DA and their latest action shows how low they are prepared to go to get attention. They failed to get support in numbers for their march in Durban because they know they don’t have support here, so they chose to get attention by trying to discredit the mayor.

"It’s cheap tactics and a desperation for media attention,” added Gumede.

Read more on:    da  |  ancyl  |  sabc  |  durban  |  politics 2017

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