ANCYL told to say sorry…or else

The ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal has been ordered to apologise to struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada’s family for disrupting his memorial service‚ or face legal action.

African National Congress Youth League members interrupt a memorial service for anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada in Durban Picture: ROGAN WARD / REUTERS

Lawyers for the Active Citizens Movement‚ the organisers of the chaotic memorial service in which former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize were booed by ANCYL members singing pro-Zuma songs‚ have given the ANCYL until Saturday to do so.

The ACM has served the ANC Youth League with a notice to institute legal action‚ unless the league apologises in writing for disrupting the memorial‚ which was held at Sastri College in Durban on Sunday. The organisers want the ANCYL to say sorry for violating a court order granted by the Durban High Court‚ instructing the league not to disrupt the service.

In a letter to ANCYL attorneys‚ ACM lawyer Viren Singh said there was overwhelming evidence that the ANCYL’s “unlawful conduct constitutes an attack on the rule of law and the constitution and calls for an appropriate response and censure“.

But he said‚ as a responsible civil society organisation‚ ACM had a duty to explore other means to resolve the dispute and to resort to litigation only if all else fails.

The ACM has proposed that the ANCYL offers an “unconditional and unequivocal apology” to Kathrada’s family‚ itself and the people of South Africa for the “unlawful disruption” of the service. It has instructed that this apology be published in two weekend newspapers‚ including the Sunday Times‚ and two Durban daily newspapers on Tuesday next week.

The ACM has also prescribed how the apology should be written.

The league has been ordered to confirm its response in writing by 4pm on Saturday. The ANCYL will also provide an undertaking that its leaders and members “shall not disrespect any of our clients’ meetings in future or threaten any of its members“.

“We record that in the event our client does not receive written confirmation via email of your client’s acceptance of the contents of this proposal by Saturday‚ contempt proceedings shall be instituted without any further notice to your clients‚” warned Singh.

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