Not in Dullah’s name, says Omar family
Thousands expected at city marches
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