The #OccupyLuthuliHouse movement said on Monday that the threats of violence it received from some quarters of the ANC, and the “baffling” security measures outside the party’s headquarters resembled tactics used by the apartheid regime.
The movement said in a statement that because it wasn’t naïve to the threats, it called on the public not to attend the demonstration.
“We have noted with shock from our supporters and comrades coming from various provinces who have been threatened by violence through state machinery used to discourage our cause. This is evidence of the degree of intolerance that has crippled our organisation,” it said.
“The prevailing culture of intolerance in our ranks is rather unfortunate and sadly depicts anyone with dissenting views as an enemy or agent provocateurs.”
It said in its statement on Monday that it was baffled by the barbed wire used to “create barriers between a people’s organisation that leads society and people with every intention to peacefully demonstrate”.
“We must reiterate that these tactics and degree of paranoia is no different from those sanctioned by the apartheid regime which our glorious organisation vehemently fought against. It is with utter dismay that we witness, in a democratic dispensation leaders of our organisation behave with such impunity and contempt towards its members and children.”
It said the party’s leaders at no point condemned the violent threats by so-called “defenders” of Luthuli House.
“We unfortunately can’t predict what might transpire today but we are not naïve to the degree of violent threats which our supporters as well as organisers of #OccupyLuthuliHouse have received. It would be unfortunate to see people being hurt in pursuit of a legitimate cause. South Africans can’t be casualties of the current tragic state of the ANC.”
The movement said it would not retaliate against any provocation of violence.
“However given the potential severity of violent threats, we want to appeal to the multitudes of people who confirmed that they will join us this morning not to come.
“Should we be attacked let it be, we will not retreat for ours is a just cause. We maintain that the ANC will not die in our lifetime.”
ANC communications head Khusela Sangoni said that any protest should be conducted peacefully.
“We wouldn’t be able to speak on behalf of the leagues but we would want to call on everyone who is coming to Luthuli House today, whether they are coming to defend it or occupy it, to exercise maximum restraint,” she said.
“We would not like to see any provocation what so ever. As the ANC we remain committed to ensuring that this demonstration is peaceful as well as ensuring the grievances that are raised are given the necessary attention,” Sangoni added.
On Friday, Tshwane Youth League chairperson Lesego Makhubela, his deputy Ezra Letsoalo and regional secretary Ratshi Mashamba stormed the occupy movement briefing, claiming supporters of the movement had no permission to speak under the banner of the ANC.[Source: News24]