Condemn protests, Zille urges Zuma

A policeman clears a roadblock on Mew Way in Khayelitsha while community members look on.

DA leader Helen Zille says she’s written to President Jacob Zuma in his capacity as leader of the ANC asking him to publicly condemn what she called the ANC Youth League’s “violent attempts to make the City of Cape Town ungovernable”.

Zille said the letter – also signed by Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille – asked that Zuma “begin to show leadership in defending the rights of peaceful, law-abiding citizens”.

The DA’s laid criminal charges against the ANCYL for threatening to make the city and province ungovernable.

Zille believes there is a co-ordinated campaign behind violent protests in the Mother City over the past two weeks and that have resulted in four deaths, including a toddler.

She said on Wednesday that the value of property destroyed was R6 million, while a report-back meeting had been disrupted.

“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,” Zille said.

She said she had twice written to Zuma before after threats by the league to make the city ungovernable, but had received no response, she said. She had also written to State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, but his department had declined to investigate.

“The State Security Agency said it was outside of their mandate to investigate criminal elements who were actively planning to incite violence aimed at overthrowing an elected government,” Zille said.

She quoted ANCYL leaders in the Western Cape repeating their threats and said a reportback meeting De Lille held 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 protests were centrally co-ordinated and controlled, with people using loud hailers.

“We have given all the evidence, video tapes and written threats to the police and it is now up to them to investigate, identify the individuals responsible, lay the appropriate charges, and ensure cases succeed in court. It is not up to the provincial government to do this,” Zille said.

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