Durban – The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in KwaZulu-Natal has reiterated that it will not apologise for “unruly behaviour” at the memorial service of struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada in Durban.
Instead it wants to meet the organisers of the service to discuss the matter.
The ANCYL had until Saturday, April 15, to apologise for the behaviour of its members during last Sunday’s service where the main speaker and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and African National Congress treasurer general Zweli Mkhize were booed, allegedly by members of the league.
The organisers – Active Citizens Movement (ACM) – through their lawyer Viren Singh, wrote a letter to the league asking it to publicly apologise for violating a court order and disrupting the service.
But instead of apologising, the league sent the movement a letter proposing a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 18.
The ACM had given the league an ultimatum to publish the apology or it would return to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban to seek a contempt of court order.
‘Apology is admitting guilt’
In the week leading up to the memorial service, the movement sought an interdict barring ANCYL members from attending.
It said it feared for Gordhan’s safety.
However, Judge Rashid Vahed ruled that the ANCYL could attend after it promised to behave, but interdicted its members from any “assaults, intimidation or harassment and any attempt to remove any of the speakers”.
ANCYL KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Mandla Shange on Tuesday reiterated to News24 that the league would not apologise because its members had done nothing wrong during the service.
“Apologising would mean we’re admitting that we are guilty. We are waiting for them [ACM] to get back to us so we can meet and come up with an amicable solution,” said Shange.
ACM spokesperson Yashica Padia confirmed that the organisation had not met with the ANCYL “because we did not receive a response to our letter”.
When asked if the response the movement was still waiting for was the public apology, she could not comment but said it was “as stated in our letter”.
On whether ACM was still willing to take the ANCYL back to court, Padia said it was still going to consult with its committee.
Mxolisi Mngadi, News24