Update on Occupy Luthuli House - ANC vs ANC over Zuma's future

SEPTEMBER 5, 2016

12:18

Mini-stampede witnessed as ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, surrounded by MKVA and accompanied by ANCYL president, Collen Maine, and MKVA leader, Kebby Maphatsoe, leaves Luthuli House for Beyers Naude Square, where he will receive a Memorandum of Demands from the Occupy Luthuli House movement.

Mantashe received the memorandum from the #OccupyLuthuliHouse movement even though the MKVA defenders allegedly tried to prevent it and made his way back to Luthuli House.


 

There have been several skirmishes outside the African National Congress' (ANC) national headquarters at Luthuli House in down town Johannesburg, where opposing sides within the party confronted one another over President Jacob Zuma's future as leader of the party and the country.

An ANC Youth League faction has organised a movement called Occupy Luthuli House and has called on the immediate resignations of President Zuma and all ANC National Executive Committee members. The faction was hoping to occupy Luthuli House until their demands have been met.

However, it has met stiff resistance from another faction of the ANCYL, which has called the movement counter-revolutionary as well as a huge turnout from the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and the ANC Women's League, who came out in their numbers to defend the ANC headquarters. 

Joburg metro police officers and the SAPS, who maintained a heavy presence since Saturday, had their hands full trying to keep the opposing sides apart. Police formed a barricade and were negotiating with the opposing sides.

Apparently, the police have proposed that ANC Secretary General rather comes out of Luthuli House and receive a memorandum from the Occupy Luthuli House movement on the street.

Over the weekend, the police brought out water cannons, nyalas and barbedwire in anticipation of violence.

Former ANC Youth League deputy president, Ronald Lamola, likened the heavy police presence to events that lead to the Marikana tragedy in 2012.

Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu; Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association head, Kebby Maphatsoe; and Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, David Van Rooyen, were some of the ANC leaders seen at the protest "defending" Luthuli House.

There were also skirmishes between the media and the camouflage-clad MKMVA guards as the veterans, in several instances, tried to block the media from taking pictures or video of the protest.

Early on the #OccupyLuthuliHouse movement said that they had received threats of violence from within the ANC and claimed the security measures outside the party's headquarters resembled tactics used by the apartheid regime.

It then reversed an earlier call for the public to join the demonstration

Many also have taken to social media to comment on the unfolding development.

Meanwhile, ANCYL president, Collen Maine, alleged that the Occupy Luthuli House protesters had been "bought" by big business, which is bent on bringing about regime change in the country. He called for calm until 2019, when President Zuma's current term of office will expire.