“No point for anyone to say we want to start a fight… We have no intention whatsoever to disrupt anyone’s useless event,” ANCYL national convenor Mzwandile Masina told reporters in Johannesburg.
“We have no illusion that we want to go there. We want to disappoint them and say to them we are not coming to your rally, we are going to the rally of the African National Congress [Youth League] in Tembisa.”
The ANCYL will hold its election festival at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, on the East Rand. The EFF will hold its rally at the Mehlareng Stadium on Saturday.
The two venues are about 7km apart, he said. He expected the league’s stadium to be filled to capacity.
Masina said the ANCYL did not plan its festival around the EFF rally and had booked and paid for the stadium in November.
“There is no point for anyone to say we want to start a fight or anything like that. We are having a rally there, it was long planned, and all the allegations against our planning, I think we want to dismiss them today,” he said.
Speakers for Saturday included Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba, and ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile.
Masina did not want to elaborate on the costs of the festival but said the bill would be paid ahead of time. The events would be a festival of ideas and for people to engage with the speakers.
“These expelled, frustrated fools will be holding their rally in the adjacent stadium… We are not really worried,” he said of EFF leader Julius Malema and his spokesman Floyd Shivambu, both former ANCYL members.
“We must warn those who once their event fails will attempt to come and disrupt our event that we will be ready for them peaceful as we will be gathering.”
He said two different political parties could gather in the same area without any violence.