NEWS

Kathrada Memorial Organisers Go To Court Over Fears ANCYL Will Target Gordhan

The youth league is at the court to oppose the application, and are awaiting a ruling.

08/04/2017 08:34 SAST | Updated 08/04/2017 09:09 SAST
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Supporters during the memorial service of ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada in Cape Town.

Organisers of a memorial service for ANC stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, scheduled to take place in Durban this Sunday, say they fear keynote speaker Pravin Gordhan may be targeted by the ANC Youth League.

The Active Citizens Group rushed to court late on Friday for an interim interdict to try and stop any disruptions at the event, to be held at Sastri College at 14:30 on Sunday, and compelling the police to enforce law and order.

In the urgent application, which is being heard by High Court Judge Rashid Vahed, the head of the organisation, Benedictor Madokwe, said 1000 people were expected to attend the memorial, including ANC struggle stalwarts and people from varied political, social and religious organisations.

The youth league is at the court to oppose the application, and are awaiting a ruling.

Madokwe said the memorial was intended to pay homage to Kathrada, but the organisers had no control over what would be said during the speeches.

'Impimpi'

Gordhan has been labelled by the youth league as an "impimpi" (an agent for monopoly capital), and ANCYL national president Collen Maine has said that "Izimpimi" (a phrase coined during the struggle against apartheid to label a person suspected to be collaborating with police as a spy or traitor) should be dealt with as they were in the past.

"It is common knowledge that they were killed, usually by being burnt with a tyre doused with petrol strung around their necks," Madokwe said.

"In present times, it is the most serious accusation that can be directed at a person.

"Thanduxolo Sabelo (Youth League provincial secretary) and the ANCYL have questioned Gordhan's loyalty to the ANC."

Madokwe said the youth league was "mischievously" creating the perception that memorial services for Kathrada were being used as platforms to vilify President Jacob Zuma.

"The league is making statements and comments which is causing consternation. It has threatened, through the media, to disrupt all proceedings."

'Threat of intimidation and violence'

The organisation's legal team, which includes respected Advocate Kessie Naidu, SC, his son, Vishalan Naidu, and Faisel Abraham, will argue that in the context of the remarks made, the threats by the ANCYL to disrupt the memorial were real.

"There is a reasonable apprehension of harm and a clear threat of intimidation and violence," they argue.

"The league's conduct and words, as recently as [Thursday], speak for themselves."

If the interdict is granted, ANCYL members may not be in the vicinity of Sastri College for two hours before the memorial and an hour after it has finished.

They would also not be allowed to assault, threaten to assault, intimidate or harass any person attending the service, and cannot disrupt proceedings by shouting, hurling abuse, heckling, or throwing furniture. -- News24