Malema fights back against 'baboon' comments

Suspended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has been asked about a Saturday Star report that claimed he called ANC leaders “baboons” during an address at a mini-rally in Bloemfontein last week.

He told SAfm on Tuesday that if he had indeed said this it would not have been missed by the many other journalists who reported on his address.

“If I had said it [the baboon comments], Sophie Mokoena [a seSotho speaking journalist] wouldn’t have missed that ... and the other journalists who were there.”

“I was made to understand the person who reported that was quite junior reporter ... and didn’t understand Sotho and relied on anyone standing by to interpret for her ...
which was very unprofessional,” he said.

Malema said he was disturbed that some ANC leaders believed he had said what was published in the Saturday Star without taking the initiative to verify the report with him.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was quoted by City Press on Sunday as criticising the name-calling of party leaders.

Malema said the youth league had written to the Saturday Star demanding a retraction and that if the newspaper did not respond, it would approach the Press Ombudsman.

The Saturday Star‘s news editor could not immediately be reached for comment.—Sapa

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