- Title: SOUTH AFRICA: ANC condemns Youth League violence outside Malema hearing
- Date: 31st August 2011
- Summary: SCHOOL CHILDREN CARRYING A PLACARD READING: "MALEMA IS A GOOD LEADER"
- Embargoed: 15th September 2011 13:00
- Location: South Africa, South Africa
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAA9AZF6WVF5F5C3H6ZQ0C9PK9S
- Story Text: The African National Congress (ANC) condemned violence by supporters of Youth League leader Julius Malema outside the ANC party headquarters in Johannesburg on Tuesday (August 30).
Scores of Malema supporters hurled rocks and beer bottles at police, burned ANC flags and posters of President Jacob Zuma outside Luthuli House, where their leader was to appear for a disciplinary hearing that could derail his political career.
"The show of ill discipline, the show of hooliganism and the act of criminality stands condemned by the African National Congress, because as you all know we are a peaceful organisation, but again we expect from all members to respect the constitutional processes of the ANC. It's all members who claim to be members of the ANC. We cannot therefore condone these actions but secondly, indeed we cannot condone attacks on journalists, we cannot condone attacks on police, we cannot condone damage to people's cars who are passing by," said ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.
A group called Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) said at a media briefing later on Tuesday afternoon that ANC Youth League supporters crossed the line by burning a ruling party flag and T-shirts bearing the face of President Jacob Zuma
"We abhor also burning of the T-shirt bearing the face of the president of the ANC comrade Jacob Zuma. We believe that these public displays of anarchy orchestrated by the ANC Youth League supporters of Julius Malema and his leadership, their collective, have crossed the line," said the MKMVA chairman Kebby Maphatsoe.
Maphatsoe also called on members of the ANC and its alliance partners to rally in defence of the party and its leaders.
Malema, aged 30, and the top five members of the youth wing have been charged with sowing division in the party that has ruled South Africa since apartheid ended in 1994.
The charges also include bringing the ANC into disrepute by calling for an overthrow of the elected government in neighbouring Botswana.
If found guilty of sowing discord in party ranks by the hearing , the firebrand youth leader could be suspended from the party for several years.
This would silence his calls for nationalisation of the mining sector, to the relief of investors, but would anger thousands of his supporters. On the eve of Tuesday's hearing, a defiant Malema told reporters the League's push to nationalise mines could not be suppressed by his removal.
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