DA and ANC in agreement on march

No court orders have been granted ahead of the DA's march in Jhb CBD today.

ANC supporters gather outside Luthuli House on 12 February 2014 ahead of the DA march. Picture: ‏Govan Whittles/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The judge hearing the African National Congress (ANC)'s urgent protection order application says he expects both sides of today's jobs march by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to obey the law.

The application was heard in the South Gauteng High Court early this morning ahead of the DA's march through the streets of downtown Johannesburg.

The application was settled by Deputy Judge President Judge Phineas Mojapelo without any order being granted and an agreement being put into place.

The judge felt both sides were in agreement on how close DA supporters could come to Luthuli House.

Judge Mojapelo also felt there was no need to argue over costs.

The ANC's Jackson Mthembu says the DA's decision to use private security guards armed with batons led to the court application.

The party's deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte accused the party of attacking them with constant lies.

"It's building up an atmosphere in this country which the DA will ultimately regret not us."

Security has been tightened as thousands of Democratic Alliance (DA) members prepare to march to the Luthuli House in Johannesburg CBD on 12 February 2014. Picture: @Masemito.

But the DA has accused the ANC of heightening tensions around this march and says its members will be disciplined.

The DA's march through Johannesburg's CBD was originally intended to end in front of the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters, but the party was only granted permission to go as far as Beyers Naude Square one block away.

The DA, however, will see this urgent application as a waste of time as it had already agreed to stop the march at Beyers Naude Square.

The issue of where protesters will go once the march ends also arose, but the judge says this falls out of the parameters of the application.

ANC MEMBERS GATHER

ANC supporters have already started gathering outside the ANC's headquarters.

Dozens of police vehicles are stationed around the block while ANC members continue singing songs outside the building.

ANC supporters gather outside Luthuli House on 12 February 2014 ahead of the DA's march. Picture: @SITHOLEEXPRESS

Some of the roads in the area have also been closed in anticipation of the march and some of the cars parked nearby are hooting to show support for the ruling party.

It's also understood Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has arrived.

A few blocks away, groups of DA supporters in their signature blue T-shirts have also started gathering.

_Democratic Alliance leadership, from left, Wilmot James, Helen Zille and Mmusi Maimane ahead of DA march to the Luthuli House on 12 February 2014. Picture: @Mabine_Seabe _

The march is expected to begin later this morning.

'STREET RULES'

The ANC says the march will be volatile and emotional, but says it will do whatever it can to restrain its members and keep the peace.

The ruling party claims the opposition hasn't given it decisive assurances that the demonstration will be peaceful.

The ANC's deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte says the ANC hasn't asked its members to incite violence but says different rules apply on the streets.

"The ANC will not ask anybody to clash with anybody but when you go to the streets, the street rules apply."

ANC members walk around Luthuli House as they prepare to 'protect their headquarters' from DA marchers on 12 February 2014. Picture: @matlalarm.

A PEACEFUL MARCH

The DA's Mmusi Maimane has promised the march will be peaceful and has denied reports that its members will be armed.

He, however, says the party has had to take extra precautions to protect their members should the need arise.

"We have never once uttered a sense of threat. All we wanted to do is deliver a manifesto at the ANC's headquarters."

Maimane says he's disappointed the ANC wouldn't allow them to gather at Luthuli House.

"We are a party that stands for the rule of law and will subject ourselves to what the police decide to do. It is just such an incredible pity how the ANC has dealt with this matter."