Not in Dul­lah’s name, says Omar fam­ily

Thou­sands ex­pected at city marches

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BRON­WYN DAVIDS

CAPE Town is set to be caught up in a po­lit­i­cal storm with at least three ma­jor marches planned to co­in­cide with MPs vot­ing on Tues­day whether or not they have con­fi­dence in President Ja­cob Zuma.

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple are ex­pected to join the marches through the city cen­tre.

And yes­ter­day, in a move likely to up the po­lit­i­cal tem­per­a­ture fur­ther, the fam­ily of the late anti-apartheid Strug­gle leader and long- stand­ing cabi­net min­is­ter, Dul­lah Omar, ob­jected to his name be­ing linked to the ANC’s cen­tral Cape Town Dul­lah Omar re­gion.

The fam­ily said they would not al­low the Omar name to be used to “de­fend the in­de­fen­si­ble” – a ref­er­ence to plans by the re­gion’s ANC Youth League to march in sup­port of President Ja­cob Zuma on Tues­day.

Omar’s sis­ter, Latifah, said the fam­ily had writ­ten to the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee re­quest­ing the party re­move Omar’s name from the re­gion im­me­di­ately.

She said her fam­ily sup­ported “ef­forts to fight cor­rup­tion, up­lift com­mu­ni­ties and re­vive and take back the ANC”.

“Just as it does his fam­ily, it would have trou­bled and hurt him deeply that his name be as­so­ci­ated with any­thing but the de­fence and ad­vance­ment of the found­ing val­ues of the ANC and the prin­ci­ples of our con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy. Both of which he cher­ished, lived and worked for so hard,” Latifah Omar said.

“No in­duce­ment of po­si­tion, power or per­sonal en­rich­ment was pow­er­ful enough to change him.

“This con­trasts sharply with the be­hav­iour and ac­tions in re­cent years of many ANC lead­ers and mem­bers up to and in­clud­ing President Ja­cob Zuma. There is no need to men­tion the litany of trans­gres­sions by ANC lead­ers and mem­bers – so­cial ac­tivists, pro­gres­sive struc­tures and the me­dia have done this suf­fi­ciently.

“Nei­ther he nor his name should ever be as­so­ci­ated with jus­ti­fy­ing the rep­re­hen­si­ble or de­fend­ing the in­de­fen­si­ble.”

But youth league co-or­di­na­tor in the Dul­lah Omar re­gion Roscoe Ja­cobs, said it would march on Tues­day in sup­port of the ANC and its gov­ern­ment which “con­tin­ues to work tire­lessly in build­ing a bet­ter life for all”.

Amid spec­u­la­tion that not all the ANC MPs were likely to toe the party line should a se­cret bal­lot be al­lowed on the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence, the ANC’s chief whip, Jack­son Mthembu, yes­ter­day re­jected the mo­tion and said re­mov­ing Zuma would be akin to “throw­ing a nu­clear bomb at the coun­try” and would “not be in the best in­ter­ests of the coun­try”.

How­ever Zachie Ach­mat, co-or­di­na­tor of the Unite Be­hind coali­tion of non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions which plans to march against the Zuma gov­ern­ment on Mon­day af­ter­noon, said ac­tivists from the anti-apartheid Strug­gle era, to­gether with many young peo­ple, shared dis­ap­point­ment in a gov­ern­ment that had failed the peo­ple.

The Unite Be­hind group­ing was “unashamedly work­ing class”, said Ach­mat and was all in­clu­sive and non-racial.

It in­cluded more than 20 com­mu­nity, ac­tivist and faith-based move­ments.

At the coali­tion’s pub­lic meet­ing at St Ge­orge’s Cathe­dral on Thurs­day for­mer trade union­ist Alan Roberts called on ac­tivists who no longer felt they had a po­lit­i­cal home in the ANC to join the Unite Be­hind move­ment on Mon­day at Keiz­er­gracht to march to Par­lia­ment.

The marchers are to be ad­dressed by for­mer deputy min­is­ter of fi­nance Mce­bisi Jonas, who was ousted after re­port­edly re­fus­ing a R600 mil­lion bribe from the Gup­tas, Angli­can Arch­bishop Thabo Mak­goba and Methodist Pre­sid­ing Bishop Zipho Ziwa.

“As the largest group of civil so­ci­ety and faith com­mu­ni­ties in the West­ern Cape, we de­cided to or­gan­ise a peo­ple’s march for the day be­fore, Au­gust 7.”

On Tues­day at 10 am, while MPs con­sider the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence, op­po­si­tion par­ties in­clud­ing the DA, UDM and EFF in­tend to march from Keiz­er­gracht to Par­lia­ment. – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by ANA

DUL­LAH OMAR

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