Cape Town – The ANC has denied that it or its youth league are fomenting violence in the ongoing riots in Cape Town, and believes that a “third force” may be inciting the chaos.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has consistently blamed the ANCYL for the violence – this after the party threatened to make the City and province “ungovernable” later this month in protest action.
But the mere fact that the threat was made has led both De Lille and Premier Helen Zille to blame all subsequent violence on the ANCYL.
On Tuesday, ANC chief whip in the City, Xolani Sotashe rubbished these claims.
“We have picked up some SMSes that… suggest the Youth League met and organised the violence, but we have established that it was not [them],” he told the Cape Argus.
Sources within the DA and the Mayor’s office have cited similar SMS evidence.
Instead, Sotashe said he believed a “third force” could be to blame – “destabilising certain areas, exploiting poor people for their own agendas”.
Sotashe said there were always people who wanted to cause mayhem, “whatever their end game was”.
And he said even DA instigators could not be ruled out, people who he suggested possibly wished to deliberately have the ANC painted as instigators of criminality.
“We are not associating ourselves with any anarchy,” he argued.
“We have gone the extra mile, going out to every ward and telling them that while we support their struggle, they must direct their energies at the administration, to march legally and demand that the mayor address the issues.
“But we tell them we cannot support vandalism and violence.
“What more does the DA want from us,” Sotashe asked.
He said it was “rubbish” that the protests had only begun after the ANCYL had marched on the provincial legislature three weeks ago, and made their subsequent threat.
“These protests were there long before the ANC Youth League marched. For example, Sir Lowry’s Pass [Village]… was burning months ago, and they were raising genuine issues,” Sotashe said. – Cape Argus