ANC to 'protect' itself against DA

The ANC says the DA hasn't given it sufficient guarantees that its Luthuli House march will be peaceful.

Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters in the Johannesburg CBD. Picture: WikiCommons.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has gone to court this morning, asking for a protection order to prevent its members and assets from harm during the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s planned jobs march in the Johannesburg CBD today.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte says the protection order is to request the court not to allow any marchers to come within 100 metres of Luthuli House.

Maimane has promised the march will be peaceful and has denied reports that its members will be armed.

He adds DA members have taken 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 go and deliver a manifesto at Luthuli House."

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

The march was originally intended to end in front of Luthuli House, but yesterday, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department said they would only be allowed to go as far as Beyers Naude Square, which is one block away.

The ANC says its application is due to be heard at this hour in the South Gauteng High Court.

Meanwhile, the DA says it will ensure its members are not involved in any confrontations with the ANC.

The party's Mmusi 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."

The march was originally scheduled to take place on 4 February, but the police ministry denied the DA permission to march after a security assessment found there were threats associated with the march.

The ANC had welcomed the decision, saying it was "a sound decision because the march was a provocation by the DA".

The party was then given the go-ahead to march by the Johannesburg Magistrates Court.

The march has caused tension between the two parties with the ANC Youth League warning it would defend Luthuli House by barricading it with supporters if the march took place.

Tripartite Alliance member the South African Communist Party said it would also lead protests on the homes of DA leaders including DA leader Helen Zille's official residence in Cape Town.