Picture: ABIGAIL JAVIER
Picture: ABIGAIL JAVIER

Organisers of Monday’s abortive Occupy Luthuli House protest said September 5 2016 "is the beginning of a necessary transition in the ANC".

The group said in a statement that the day "will forever remain embedded not only in our hearts as members of the ANC but society in general".

The organisers said they were prepared "to face any consequences of our actions" should the ruling party take disciplinary action against them.

"To our amazement‚ mobilising in a matter of seven days created such responses and‚ more importantly‚ the message was received by the right people‚" they said.

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"We have been inundated with messages of support from ordinary South Africans young and old who clearly love the ANC.

"This affirms that many in and outside the ANC are willing to save the ANC from the few elites who are destroying it."

They dismissed criticism from other ANC members about not addressing their grievances internally. "We remain resolute that it was necessary to air our frustrations in the manner that we did‚ demonstrating the frustration shared by many ANC members‚ of how processes of the organisation have been factionalised and isolate much needed voices within the organisation.

"Our conviction remains that it is our generation that now has the bestowed duty and responsibility to restore the glory of our movement.

"Whilst our actions might be perceived as anarchic by others‚ we believe that such unconventional methods will accelerate the process of rebuilding the ANC and more importantly encourage those that are discouraged by institutionalised factionalism‚ to go back to branches and fight for the restoration of organisational centrality."

They condemned the reported threats aimed at the Occupy Luthuli House march‚ saying of those who made them: "Their cowardice is a reflection of intolerance and fuelled paranoia about our intentions."

The organisers made an urgent call on Monday morning for supporters not to "mass in numbers"‚ and they would rather send a smaller delegation to hand over demands to the ANC leadership.

They also said the "heavy-handed tactics of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association ... not only undermines the ANC but also makes a mockery of the sacrifices of MK combatants who gave their lives to the people of SA as the people’s army".

TMG Digital