ANC condemns ANCYL violence
Johannesburg - The violence that erupted in the Johannesburg CBD ahead of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's disciplinary hearing on Tuesday was "totally unacceptable" and tarnished the name of the ANC, the party's spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.
"We totally condemn such violence. It is totally unacceptable," Mthembu said, as groups of people gathered to support the league's leadership were filmed throwing stones and bottles at reporters and photographers in the city centre.
A Sapa photographer, Werner Beukes, and two eNews journalists Belinda Moses and Cathy Mohlahlana were pelted with stones.
"It flies in the face of what the leadership has called for - disciplined behaviour," said Mthembu as groups tried to push towards ANC headquarters Luthuli House.
"It is not disciplined, and criminal," he said.
"We have seen journalists being pelted. We have also seen even our police being pelted with stones, and all types of things."
"We are therefore saying this is unacceptable and we put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the ANCYL."
"We are very concerned."
The ANC appreciated the role the police were playing and called on them not to become violent in the face of provocation. "They must ensure the safety and security of everyone within the city."
Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said that even though the groups were throwing objects and burning posters, they felt they had the situation contained.
"We have got enough members on the ground to contain the situation," he said.
Earlier police used water canon trucks to control the crowd and three helicopters were seen hovering over the region of Beyers Naude Square and Luthuli House which is situated on the corner of Sauer street.
By mid-morning he said no arrests had been made, and no injuries reported.
Asked whether the ANC leadership planned to go outside and address the crowds, he said: "We believe those that are responsible for bringing the people here should be responsible for that. The ball is in the court of the ANCYL leadership."
"The insults that are being thrown, the burning of posters, faces of our leadership that are on some posters, generally the unruly behaviour, cars being damaged ... that is totally un-ANC, you will not expect members of the ANC to do that. We cannot be quiet. They are tarnishing the image of the ANC."