De Lille/Zille lay charges against ANCYL over ungovernability threat

Cape Town mayor says violent protests in city appear to be coordinated and controlled

Premier Zille and Mayor De Lille lay charges against ANCYL

01 August 2012

This afternoon, Premier Helen Zille and I formally laid criminal complaints against the ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League), the African National Congress, the African National Congress Women's League, the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association, Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations in relation to offences that have been committed, as outlined in the Intimidation Act of 1982.

On Friday, 27 July 2012, a memorandum issued by the ANCYL (Dullah Omar Region) was delivered to the Office of the Premier on behalf of the five organisations mentioned above. The memorandum contains, amongst other things, the following threat on the fifth page of their memorandum: "We demand that the abovementioned demands be positively responded to within 7 working days. Failure to do so the young people and the abovementioned stakeholders will make this city and province ungovernable! Amandla!"

This threat comes against the backdrop of a number violent service delivery protests that have taken place in the City in recent days. It is already clear that there is an element of political stoking involved and there is mounting evidence that these protests are being coordinated and controlled.

Just this morning I viewed video footage of a protest in the early hours of Monday morning, on the corner of Landsdowne Road and Duinefontein Road, near Sweet Homes Farm. The footage clearly shows how the actions of protestors are being carefully marshalled and controlled by certain identifiable individuals.

I will bring this footage to the attention of the Provincial SAPS commissioner, General Lamoer, when I meet with him on Friday this week.  I will further use the occasion to strengthen cooperation between the SAPS and the City, with a view to identifying the individuals and/or organisations behind this conduct.

In our complaint, we have submitted that the conduct by the five organisations, namely the issuing of a public threat to make the City of Cape Town and Province of the Western Cape ungovernable, constitutes offences under sections 1(1) and 1A (1) of the Act.

We have therefore requested that a criminal investigation be instituted into the statements of the organisations and their members who have issued this public threat to the governability of the City and Province, thereby endangering public assets and the fundamental rights of the province's residents to life, security, trade and property.

With this recent threat, the ANCYL has exposed itself and its affiliates as being willing and unashamed to use public violence to make the City and Western Cape ungovernable. We cannot allow such thuggery to go unchallenged in a context where we are trying to build a constitutional democracy based on norms of public order and respect for rule of law. The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government will not allow the fundamental rights of law-abiding citizens to be threatened in this manner.  

As part of our efforts to uphold the law, last week the City also formally requested that the National Director of Public Prosecutions review the decision not to prosecute ANC councillor Andile Lili for his role in the malicious damage to property in Makhaza on 24 May 2010.

As part of the review request, the City has provided video and other evidence of Councillor Lili destroying City-provided toilets with a crowbar. If this review request is turned down, the City will consider taking the matter on review to the High Court.

The Province and the City will not stand by idly while organisations and individuals actively break the law. We are determined to improve the lives of all citizens, most especially the poor and most vulnerable, whilst at all times ensuring that the rights of law-abiding citizens are protected and upheld. 

Statement issued by Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, August 1 2012

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