African National Congress Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said he would not swear at journalists again, he said on Thursday.
“The recent past incident of a News24 journalist who was disgustingly making a media enquiry with the ANCYL is unfortunate and will never happen again,” he said in a statement.
“The incident does not represent the attitude of the ANCYL to the media in general, but was a specific incident which was unfortunate and will never happen again.”
Shivambu was responding to reports that he repeatedly swore at a Media24 journalist Jacques Dommisse, who had called him to arrange an interview with league president Julius Malema.
Shivambu said “fuck you” to Dommisse and told him to “fuck off”.
He did not apologise, in the statement issued on Thursday.
He said the media chose to “engage in disgustingly provocative methods and means of engagement” with the youth league.
It also aimed to “divert attention” from the league’s resolutions at its national conference.
Media24 reported that Malema had paid R78 000 for a three-day stay with five friends at the “ultra-luxurious” five-star Royal Malewane lodge next to the Kruger National Park.
According to the report, the visit to the lodge took place shortly before the league’s national conference, where Malema sold himself as the “champion of the poor”.
Dommisse had wanted to interview Malema about the trip.
‘What is your problem?’
During the conversation, Shivambu told Dommisse: “I said fuck you”.
Asked if he was swearing at him, Shivambu replied: “Yes”.
“Why do you do that?” asked Dommisse.
“Because you cannot force yourself to speak to people if they do not speak to you. What is your problem?” asked Shibamvu.
“I do not have a problem,” said Dommisse.
“Fuck you. Fuck off. OK?” said Shivambu.
ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete condemned Shivambu’s behaviour, saying it was “unacceptable”.
“I totally disagree with any bad language being used by anybody who is communicating on behalf of any part of the ANC,” she said.
“I think that’s regrettable, it’s not language to be used … I’m saying anybody expressing themselves in a way that’s swearing at anybody, it is unacceptable.
“You don’t use language like that, you don’t have to swear at people or be rude to people to make your point.
“You can make your point using decent language.” – Sapa