ANC Youth League to keep scuffle out of court

"We are not going to open a case against anybody – they have declared a war and we are ready to fight," provincial league secretary Jacob Lebogo said on Wednesday.

He was one of the leaders who emerged with some bruises from the scuffle.

Media reports ahead of the event had predicted problems, given the party's recent expulsion of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, who hails from Limpopo.

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said a group of people began blocking roads in the vicinity of the Holy Worship Church hall on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of Zuma's arrival.

About 300 people converged outside the church hall. Some carried banners with Malema's picture, singing: "Zuma is troubling us".

They became involved in a fight with security guards when they entered the hall at 4pm.

"Those people are anti-Zuma and came inside the venue and started singing anti-Zuma songs. Then the ANC security inside the hall contained them and assaulted them," said Mulaudzi, adding that the police were called in to defuse the situation.

Serious warning
"Five of them, who were among those singing anti-Zuma songs, were bundled into a police van and taken away from the venue. We then gave them a serious warning to refrain from causing problems in the area. They complied and were released on a warning," said Mulaudzi.

Zuma began speaking after 5pm but violence continued outside the hall during his address.

League provincial chairperson Rudzani Ludere and Lebogo said they were "harassed" by people dressed up as members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association, who were specifically targeting them.

"The 'black painting' was done deliberately, as intentions were to find a way of sourcing hooligans from other provinces to come to the province wearing MKMVA combat [gear] to harass delegates and eye marked [keep an eye on] the leadership of the ANC Youth League …" said Ludere.

Zuma and delegates from the ANC's national executive committee had converged at the church for an address by Zuma on the life of former president Nelson Mandela as part of the party's centenary celebrations.

Delegates heard Mandela described as a selfless leader, who did not harbour ambitions to serve two terms in the ruling ANC.

Lebogo and Ludere said Zuma had discredited Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale because he did not support Zuma's re-election.

'Pre-orchestrated'
He was "always threatening removal based on unfounded and unproved allegations [against Cassel]".

"Clearly, the assault to the ANC Youth League was pre-orchestrated, there was no point at any instance that their movements were not videotaped, even at the registration point," said Ludere.

The league in the province re-affirmed its view that Zuma would not be re-elected by their members, saying he had failed to develop other areas, but focused on "building New York City" in Nkandla, his hometown.

The league also apologised to the Mandela family over disruptions to the lecture.

"The ANC Youth League in Limpopo wishes to take forward our sincere and heartfelt apologies to president Nelson Mandela and his family on the unfortunate circumstances that nearly disorganised the lecture in his honour," said Ludere.

"We are further disappointed that the Mandela family was undermined in the lecture."

The presidency said it had no comment and the ANC has not responded to a request for comment. – Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sapa
Guest Author
Advertising

READ IT IN FULL: Ramaphosa’s address on the extension of...

This is the full address given by President Cyril Ramaphosa on April 9

Meet the doctor leading Africa’s fight to contain the coronavirus...

Dr Matshidiso Moeti’s father helped to eliminate smallpox. Now she’s leading Africa’s efforts against the coronavirus

Stella set to retain her perks

Communication minister will keep Cabinet perks during her two months of special leave

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Press Releases

Rahima Moosa Hospital nursing college introduces no-touch facial recognition access system

The new system allows the hospital to enrol people’s faces immediately, using artificial intelligence, and integrates easily with existing access control infrastructure, including card readers and biometrics

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world