Tense standoff brewing: DA marches as ANC Youth League vows to defend Luthuli House 'at all costs'

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  • A tense standoff is brewing as the DA marches to Luthuli House to protest against the electricity crisis in the country.
  • The ANC Youth League is gathering outside the party's headquarters, vowing to defend the premises. 
  • The ANC has also accused the DA of renting a crowd to protest outside their headquarters.

ANC Youth League members have gathered in their numbers, vowing to "defend the headquarters at all costs", ahead of a DA-organised #PowerToThePeopleMarch to Luthuli House.

The opposition party cited an "ANC-engineered electricity crisis" as its reason for the march to the governing party's headquarters instead of the Union Buildings in Pretoria. On arrival, the party said, it would demand "real solutions to the energy crisis." The march comes as the two parties are locking horns in a legal battle in the Gauteng High Court, where the DA is challenging the ANC's cadre deployment policy, saying it is part of the reason state-owned entities have found themselves in a tough financial situation.

The gathering point ahead of the march was Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, where hundreds of DA members started congregating.

Chief whip of the official opposition, Siviwe Gwarube, said "the country is in a state of crisis, and we can't afford not to express our anger against this ANC-manufactured crisis." 

Gwarube added:

The ANC, through its cadre deployment and appointing of unqualified members, all in the name of them being party loyalists, created a crisis in our state-owned entities.

She said it was what sparked the DA's decision to conduct a "peaceful" march to Luthuli House. "We applied for the requisite permission to march, and it was granted to us; there is no harm posed to the ANC property," Gwarube said.

ANC Youth League national task team member Tlangi Mogale said the league had a mandate to defend the ANC's headquarters. 

If the DA wants to raise matters related to electricity, it should direct them to Eskom's headquarters, Mogale said.

"There is an unspoken rule between political parties not to infringe on another's headquarters. The DA should keep a 100-metre radius away from Luthuli House, and we know they hired black people for R150 each and will use them as human shields so we can't be violent to our own people."

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