After consultation and guidance from ACDP leadership, I wish to make important clarifying amendments to my initial statement on the subject of the Cape Town Mayors proposal to award the freedom of the city to US President Obama. I was momentarily out of step with our thinking and views on some of the other broader aspects of this issue, but not on the core point that the ACDP is not in support of this proposal because the rate-payers of Cape Town have not been consulted.
“The Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille has proposed that the City of Cape Town award the freedom of the City to the current US President, Barack Obama.
The ACDP strongly recommends that the citizens of Cape Town are urgently and thoroughly consulted on this proposal, not only out of respect for them as the electorate and rate-payers, and whose view point is vital, but since it is also expected in terms of the City’s public participation processes and relevant legislation.
We reject Cosatu’s statement that all political parties are united in their threat of mass action against the Mayor and the DA. (Cosatu’s statement: Cosatu on Obama award)
The ACDP will not voice our opposition to this proposal, to the Mayor or the DA, in the form of mass protest action. Capetonians have been subjected to protest actions that turn violent and destructive, regardless of the stated intentions of their leaders, far too many times. Businesses and communities in Cape Town should not be subjected to such violence and destruction again.
The ACDP agrees that our national government should express a view on this proposal, in terms of its lead role for South Africa in international relations protocols, for the sake of protecting and advancing our economic and political standing in the international community, and in recognising that this proposal could have unintended consequences, including with those whose militant opposition to anything US could spill over into Cape Town.
Lastly, we do not support Cosatu ‘s blanket statements on the Israeli Palestinian question and the role of the US in it, since they do not properly reflect the full complexity of the situation in the Middle East and therefore do not assist in bringing much needed peace to all its people groups.”