ANC condemns Malema's behaviour
Johannesburg - The ANC "strongly condemned" its youth league president Julius Malema's treatment of a BBC journalist, a spokesperson said on Friday.
"The aggressive and insultive (sic) behaviour to the said journalist that culminated with Mr Fisher walking out of the Youth League press briefing cannot be condoned at all," said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.
The ruling party issued a strongly-worded response to the incident at an ANCYL media briefing on Thursday.
Reflected negatively on ANC
"The unfortunate outburst by Comrade Julius Malema did not only reflect negatively on him, but also reflected negatively on the ANC YL, the entire ANC family, our alliance partners as well as South Africa in the eyes of the international community."
Malema called BBC journalist, Jonah Fisher, a "bastard" and an "agent" before booting him out of the media briefing.
This was after Fisher had quipped that Malema lived in Sandton while the youth league president chastised Zimbabwean political party, the Movement for Democratic Change, for operating out of offices in Johannesburg's upmarket Sandton.
"The behaviour in question, by the ANCYL president is not in keeping with the culture and traditions as well as conduct of a cadre and leader of the ANC.
"No amount of alleged provocation that was directed to Comrade Julius Malema could justify such a response.
"We are of a firm view that this matter could have been handled differently.
"The leadership abilities and qualities of the position that Comrade Julius Malema holds, should have prepared him to deal with the issue in a manner that demonstrated leadership," Mthembu said.
He also condemned "whatever provocation" had emanated from the said journalist "as it might have been seen as an attempt to undermine and mock the leadership of the ANCYL".
Mthembu also said the party would "immediately" arrange a meeting with the ANC YL to discuss the youth leader's behaviour at the conference, land issues, a call made by party officials for all ANC members to stop singing struggle songs "that might be interpreted as contributing to racial polarisation".