No march on Mon­day, de­clares city

Ehren­re­ich plans to make Cape un­govern­able – De Lille

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - HENRIËTTE GELDEN­HUYS and JAN CRONJE

AS THE city moves to clamp down on plans for another march into the CBD on Mon­day, Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille has ac­cused Cosatu pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Tony Ehren­re­ich of pro­mot­ing a cam­paign to make the city un­govern­able. Ehren­re­ich has de­nied this. Plans for an al­ter­na­tive march into the city on Mon­day look set to be thwarted too, with the au­thor­i­ties re­fus­ing per­mis­sion be­cause the group or­gan­is­ing it has links to the protest that de­gen­er­ated into loot­ing of street ven­dors last month.

Late yes­ter­day how­ever, city me­dia man­ager Priya Reddy said they could not be ab­so­lutely sure there would be no march on Mon­day.

“(We) will pro­vide sup­port to the South African Po­lice Ser­vices, who are the lead agents in the case of an il­le­gal march,” she said.

Mean­while, De Lille launched a sting­ing at­tack on Ehren­re­ich, also a city coun­cil­lor, in a state­ment, ac­cus­ing him of ar­rang­ing rail trans­port for the would-be marchers.

The CBD vir­tu­ally be­came a ghost town yes­ter­day morn­ing as res­i­dents and work­ers pre­pared for a re­peat of last month’s vi­o­lence, but traders slowly re­turned when it ap­peared the march would in­deed not go ahead.

The march was can­celled af­ter the city ob­tained an in­ter­dict to halt it. De Lille de­clared yes­ter­day that she would ask city coun­cil Speaker Dirk Smit to in­ves­ti­gate Ehren­re­ich’s con­duct.

She said Ehren­re­ich had en­sured Metro­rail made free trains avail­able to would-be marchers, even though he knew a march would be il­le­gal.

“Coun­cil­lor Ehren­re­ich re­port­edly went fur­ther, to en­sure there would be Cosatu mar­shals present, thereby ac­tively and di­rectly as­sist­ing the would-be marchers to break the law.

“This proves defini­tively that Mr Ehren­re­ich and Cosatu are ac­tive par­tic­i­pants in pro­mot­ing the ‘un­govern­abil­ity’ cam­paign.”

De Lille added that the city ob­tained the in­ter­dict be­cause “there was a rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tion there would have been vi­o­lence.”.

Ehren­re­ich said he had ar­ranged trains for pro­test­ers be­cause Cosatu sup­ported the rights of peo­ple to protest for “ur­gent hous­ing and san­i­ta­tion”.

He also de­nied peo­ple march­ing to town had “any­thing to do with un­govern­abil­ity”.

At the time the trans­port was ar­ranged, Ehren­re­ich added, the planned march was not yet il­le­gal.

“The fact that the city says it’s il­le­gal doesn’t make it il­le­gal. Only a court can make it il­le­gal,” he said, ex­plain­ing that the in­ter­dict had been ob­tained only af­ter the trains had been or­gan­ised.

Cosatu wanted to help peo­ple to get to town to hold a “dis­ci­plined and non-vi­o­lent protest”.

Ehren­re­ich said of the mayor last night: “She’s be­ing silly and mak­ing wild al­le­ga­tions. She’s try­ing to put drama into the is­sue.”

He added that he had ar­ranged the trans­port in his ca­pac­ity as Cosatu pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary, and not as a coun­cil­lor.

NOVEM­BER 30 2013

AC­CU­SA­TIONS: Cape Town mayor Pa­tri­cia De Lille and Cosatu pro­vin­cial sec­re­taryTony Ehren­re­ich.

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