Venue clash hits parties’ right to rally

TWO political rallies, to be addressed by heavyweights from the ANC and the Congress of the People respectively, are scheduled to be held at the same venue, the Jabavu Stadium in Uitenhage, on Saturday, Human Rights Day.

The municipality confirmed yesterday that it had invited Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to be keynote speaker at a gathering that will be held on the soccer field at the stadium to celebrate the day.

It has been disclosed by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) that youth league president Julius Malema, will also deliver a speech.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has also been invited, said Numsa organiser Andile Zitho.

At the same time, Cope supporters are expected to turn out in big numbers to hear their president, Mosioua Lekota, speak in the rugby section of the stadium.

It is not clear how the municipality decided to allocate the venue to both parties.

ANC provincial spokesman Mcebisi Jonas said he was not aware that the rival party intended holding its own rally at the same venue and has undertaken to investigate.

“This has potential for conflict,” he said.

Municipal spokesman Roland Williams said the municipality “would encourage any political party to encourage its members to attend the municipal celebration”, which would commemorate the Langa massacre.

Cope regional spokesman Elvis Bana confirmed they had booked the venue to hold their own Human Rights Day celebration rally and were adamant that his organisation “will not call off the rally” .

Bana said “the venue was booked as early as February 2 this year and it was confirmed by the municipality.

“We are perturbed by this apparent political intolerance and by the kind of behaviour of the municipal officials who exhibit partisanship in their work,” said Bana.

Two other popular ANC crowd pullers, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and the party‘s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, will be in the Eastern Cape on that day to address a Queenstown rally.

Source:   The Weekend Post

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