Don’t give #OccupyLuthuliHouse ‘hooligans’ free airtime: Mantashe
JOHANNESBURG — African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe urged party members, who were “defending” their headquarters from #OccupyLuthuliHouse protesters, to refrain from violence.
“Do not give them publicity; allow this to fizzle out. Do not give them airtime — they must pay for their airtime,” Mantashe told supporters shortly after receiving a memorandum from the organisers of the campaign.
He was escorted by the MKMVA’s Kebby Maphatsoe and ANCYL president Collen Maine. The security detail around the three made up of police and MKMVA members had to fight off ANC supporters who went to the party’s headquarters in defence of their leadership.
Some members of the ANC had attempted to stop Mantashe from receiving the memorandum, claiming it would set a precedent.
Mantashe cautioned members against attempting to attack those who took a stand against the party.
“If we allow the ANC to be swallowed by certain groups — then we will have no organisation. You are depriving the ANC from hearing the simple voices by blocking these people from giving their memorandum.”
Mantashe also thanked supporters for coming out to defend Luthuli House.
“You have done what you should do, you have defended your organisation, you have defended your headquarters . . . that is good enough,” he said.
Mantashe said he did not want a situation where the media would report that there was bloodshed outside the ANC headquarters.
“Don’t try to beat them . . . don’t give hooligans free airtime comrades. I am appealing to you.”
As Mantashe made his way back to the headquarters, surrounded by MKMVA members, small scuffles, pushing and shoving broke out as the group moved through the streets.
Meanwhile, the presidency has denied that President Jacob Zuma was stalling the financial intelligence centre (FIC) amendment bill as part of an attack on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the National Treasury.
In a statement, Bongani Ngqulunga, Zuma’s spokesperson, said media reports that the bill had not been signed into law as part of an attempt to “clip the independence and powers” of Gordhan and the South African Reserve Bank, were “misleading and incorrect”.
“This is a gross distortion of the facts,” Ngqulunga added, saying Zuma regularly receives objections to the signing of bills.
In this instance the objection came from the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) under former government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi.
According to Ngqulunga, a number of bills have not been signed into law as yet, such as the expropriation bill, the private security industry regulation amendment bill and the protection of state information bill for the exact reason that parties petitioned the president about their constitutionality.
“When the President is petitioned not to sign a bill, he has to consider the merits of such objection focusing mainly on whether the interested parties raise valid constitutional issues. It is not the first time that the President has taken time to consider a bill for similar reasons,” Ngqulunga said.
BDLive reported yesterday that Zuma was considering objections before signing the bill into law and that a discussion document was submitted suggesting that all financial transactions above a certain threshold resort under government’s security cluster instead of National Treasury.
The suggestion was allegedly from Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who had earlier issued a media statement announcing that government would institute a judicial commission of inquiry into local banks’ decision to withdraw services to the Guptas.
The presidency has since distanced itself from Zwane’s statement about the so-called judicial inquiry. — AFP —
Gwede Mantashe (centre) is escorted down the street during the #OccupyLuthuliHouse protest AFP