ANC must assure peaceful march following reinstatement of Lili and Nkohla

Premier Helen Zille

Western Cape Government

I have noted the media reports today stating that Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla have been reinstated as members of the ANC and their previous suspension and expulsion respectively by a disciplinary committee of the party have been overturned. The ANC is set to march to the Provincial Legislature tomorrow and Mr Lili and Mr Nkohla, now full members of the ANC again, have been making repeated threats of ungovernability against the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government.

They have been carrying out these threats by organising disruptive blockages of the N2 highway on numerous occasions and leading violent marches in the City Centre where they incite participants to loot street vendor stalls and vandalise the premises of businesses operating in the CBD. They were also instrumental in several faeces-throwing incidents in the City.

This move shows that the ANC has been disingenuous all along in trying to avoid blame for the rhetoric inciting violence and destructive riots that Lili and Nkohla have been behind for months. Indeed, Lili is on record as saying that in their ungovernability campaign, they simply “followed the strategies of the ANC…” and that he believes their actions “never broke any ANC rules”. Their successful appeal and reinstatement show that they were right when they said they were merely implementing the ANC’s “ungovernability strategy”. The ANC Youth League in the Western Cape has celebrated Lili and Nkohla as ‘fearless leaders’ and now enthusiastically welcomed them back as fully-fledged members of the ANC.

A previous march permit application of the Ses’khona group, led by Lili and Nkohla, was declined in February by the City, on the basis of an objection from the SAPS who raised public safety risk concerns, because their previous march in October 2013 turned violent and resulted in looting and damage to property. With Lili and Nkohla having rejoined the ANC, it is now likely that Lili, Nkohla and their Ses’khona group will join the ANC march tomorrow and pose the same public safety risk.

I am calling on Western Cape ANC leader, Marius Fransman, and Western Cape ANC secretary, Songezo Mjongile, to give assurances that their march will proceed peacefully as required by the constitution. I have also spoken to Provincial Police Commissioner, General Lamoer, to confirm that any attempts to implement the “ungovernability campaign” will face the full might of the law. Community Safety Minister Dan Plato is also communicating with General Lamoer.

This move by the ANC to include Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla in their fold appears to be motivated by alleged difficulties with campaigning and a desire to boost their fortunes by co-opting these individuals. It is the hope of the Western Cape Government that in pursuing this narrow self-interest, the ANC is not putting the public at risk during their march tomorrow by giving a platform to people who have declared and shown themselves to be determined to undermine the rule of law and compromise the safety of citizens.