ANOTHER African National Congress (ANC) affiliate, the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco), is embroiled in a legal battle with the Democratic Alliance (DA) over an alleged violent and illegal protest last week in Ashton, Cape Town.

The DA constituency chair for the Langeberg local municipality, Ivan Meyer, said yesterday the DA-led municipality had laid charges against Sanco after protesters in Ashton stoned a police station, burnt a local recycling plant and vandalised municipal offices.

These charges would be the first attempt since last week's Constitutional Court ruling that organisers of gatherings were liable for damages caused, unless they could prove that reasonable measures were taken to avoid violent disruptions.

Immediately after the judg ment, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said the city would sue the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) for damage caused during marches last year.

Mr Meyer said yesterday no one had been held financially accountable for the damage in Ashton. "The days of violent and vandalistic protest without any repercussions are over," he said.

Sanco Western Cape provincial secretary Vusi Mnweki said the organisation was not aware of the protest the DA was referring to.

stones@bdfm.co.za