Juju pair threaten TV man

2012-03-02 00:00

WHAT was on their minds?

Two of Julius Malema’s “supporters” either did not want to be openly identified with him; or they did not want the world to see that the people of his Limpopo hometown, Seshego, were not united behind the youth league leader.

The men were seen talking to Malema outside his grandmother’s house, when they spotted freelance camerman Chris Pelser, who was filming two rival groups who had gathered there after his expulsion became public on Wednesday night.

Malema had briefly stepped out of the home to tell supporters that he was going to fight the ANC’s decision to expel him.

“I am not a soldier who is prepared to fall in the battle. I will die with my boots on. It doesn’t matter who says what. I will die for what I believe in. I have not done anything wrong.”

According to Pelser, the two men, who had earlier been spotted speaking to Malema, threatened him and demanded his tape.

Pelser said one of them was very aggressive and tried to forcibly remove the tape.

He tried to explain that it took time to eject a tape.

They frisked him and emptied his pockets to see if he had any other camera footage on him.

eTV journalist Shahan Ramkisson accompanied Pelser to the police station yesterday morning where the cameraman laid a charge of theft.

Ramkisson said it was very dark and Pelser did not recognise the men nor was he sure if Malema witnessed the incident.

However, the men were techno-savy and knew about back-up cards and memory sticks and were pretty determined to confiscate every bit of footage, he said.

eTV head of news Patrick Conroy said he was concerned whenever a staff member or freelancer was prevented from doing their jobs and was harassed.

“This is not the first time that our journalists have been harassed, but it is happening once too often.”

Nic Dawes, of the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) media freedom committee, asked why it was that camera people and photographers were often at the receiving end of hostility.

“Is it because of the old adage that a camera never lies?”

Dawes said media freedom was not only about what politicians said and the laws that were enacted.

“It is also about the way journalists can go about their work on a day-to-day basis and at times of heightened tension. Photographers and cameramen form a critical part of this work. To be prevented from doing so by the public, the police or private security personnel and the polticians who stand by at the scene and do nothing to stop the intimidation, is also a threat against media freedom,” he said.

Sapa reported that Malema’s expulsion from the ANC turned his Limpopo hometown into a battleground on Wednesday night as the Youth League leader’s supporters and opponents clashed violently.

By yesterday, residents of Seshego Zone 1, the area where Malema lives, were mopping up.

Bullet shells, broken bottles and rocks lay on the tarmac following a standoff that lasted until about 3 am when 17 police cars and a Nyala calmed the situation.

He could not confirm rumours that two people were injured.

At the time of going to press the situation appeared calm.

Social media sites were abuzz with Juju cracks yesterday,

Trending on Twitter in South Africa was every version of Julius Malema’s name with tweeps going wild with the #ByeByeJuliusSongs trend. Some #ByeByeJuliusSongs included Ek wil huis toe gaan na mamma toe (I want to go home to my mother) - Kurt Darren, Hey “Juju” - Beatles and Don’t cry for me, ANC - Madonna.

These were some other Tweets:

Fana Mokoena: @fanamokoena: Instead of ousting him, the ANC should have unleashed the raw energy of Julius Malema on the likes of AfriForum. we’ve lost the plot

DJ Fresh (Big Dawg): @DJFreshSA: The DA say JUJU must accept his expulsion from the ANC! *GASP* Why on Earth would they say that?

Colin Moss: @ColinMossSA

New word. Juju v - to overstay your welcome. “Our dinner guests wouldn’t go home. They just juju-ed until 1am”. — WR.

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