DA marches on after court dismisses ANC application

The DA says its march in downtown Johannesburg is for 'real jobs. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

The DA says its march in downtown Johannesburg is for 'real jobs. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

An urgent application by the ANC to secure a protection order against an alleged threat by the Democratic Alliance (DA) was dismissed by the high court in Johannesburg on Wednesday, the ANC said.

The DA said the march in downtown Johannesburg was for "real jobs".

"We are fine with the judge's decision, and we respect that," said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.

"We are also delighted by the fact that the DA made a legally binding undertaking in court to not come near the ANC headquarters during the march ... I love our democracy."

He said the court saw no reason to issue any proclamation because the two parties were in agreement on safety matters during the march.

"We would not have gone to court had the DA promised us that our staff and assets would not be threatened during the march."

The matter was heard in the high court on Wednesday morning.

'Armed to the teeth'
The ANC said the application was necessary because the DA had secured the services of a security firm "armed to the teeth" with batons, helmets and shields.

Earlier, while speaking to Tim Modise on PowerFM, Mthembu said the DA was preparing for war.

"They are coming armed to the teeth, with helmets, batons, shields. They have even booked places in hospitals.
That can only be the actions of a party at war. This is why we are at the [high court in Johannesburg], to ask for a protection order against the DA and violence."

In the interview, Maimane countered that the opposition party perceived a threat of violence by the ANC's alliance partner, the South African Communist Party (SACP).

"The SACP issued a statement threatening the DA. We respect the law, which is why when JMPD said we can't march, we went to the courts. I have footage of [SACP members] with DA flags and T-shirts, burning them. That is incitement in some places," Maimane said.

Maimane also explained why the DA was marching on the ANC and not government.

ANC manifesto
"At the ANC manifesto launch, Jacob Zuma promised six-million jobs. That is not sustainable ... it has everything to do with [an ANC] manifesto announced by Zuma at the ANC manifesto launch."

But Mthembu felt the party should be holding government responsible, and not one particular party. 

"We have marched as the ANC but to government offices because we feel government is responsible. We know that by marching to a political party, we might be creating conditions of war," he said.

The DA's march for "real" jobs will start its march at 10am on Wednesday at the Westgate Transport Hub in Johannesburg.  – Sapa, additional reporting by Staff Reporter

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