Upset: scribe’s question irks party leaders

2012-06-30 00:00

ANC leaders lost their cool when a journalist questioned whether the party had taught people to destroy public property.

The outburst came during a briefing at the ANC’s policy conference yesterday when the party said it would discipline members who engaged in violent protests.

Beeld’s Buks Viljoen asked the question, prompting ANC national executive member Lynne Brown to respond angrily: “You lot who voted for the government before 1994 and who tortured and murdered and maimed our people, who built communities that we have to reconstruct, hovels for those who are poor and leafy suburbs for the rich.”

The ANC had never said people must destroy things, but rather they should build.

Brown said a lot of people had been disenfranchised, including her parents, and that they couldn’t walk on the streets without the fear of being killed.

“You can’t equate the painful past with the blissful present, with all its flaws.”

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu added his voice, saying “Many of us who are sitting here, we sit with scars. We are trying very hard to forgive, but we will never forget.

“There are some of our family members and our friends who are no more, who died in the struggle against apartheid and it was a just struggle ... And for someone to vulgarise our fight against apartheid domination in this manner, it goes down difficult.”

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