ANC shocked by 'hooligan behaviour'
Johannesburg - The ANC has blamed its youth league for the "hooligan behaviour" by supporters of league president Julius Malema in Johannesburg's CBD on Tuesday.
"It is our view that those who have taken the responsibility to mobilise the crowds to gather outside Luthuli House - the leadership of the ANC Youth League [ANCYL] - should also take full responsibility for the violence, criminality and ill-discipline that has accompanied these crowds," the ANC said.
At least one policeman and five journalists were injured when youths threw stones, set bins alight and burnt images of ANC leaders ahead of Malema's disciplinary hearing at Luthuli House, headquarters of the ruling party on the corner of Johannesburg's busy Sauer and Pritchard streets.
The league itself also issued a statement condemning the scenes, broadcast live on eNews before parts of their camera crew's equipment were believed to have been stolen.
"The African National Congress (ANC) strongly condemns as totally unacceptable, wanton acts of criminality and hooliganism we witnessed today outside our headquarters, Chief Albert Luthuli House, perpetrated by an unruly mob of people claiming to be ANC Youth League members," the party said in a statement.
"The question we ask ourselves is whether these people who have the audacity to burn the ANC flag, posters with the face of ANC president Jacob Zuma and other leaders of the movement, launch attacks on police officers, hawkers and journalists, qualify to regard themselves as members of the African National Congress or any of its leagues."
The movement was "totally shocked" by "unacceptable, criminal acts of violence" which included throwing rocks at motorists and members of the public.
The behaviour went against the values and discipline of the ANC.
Earlier, the league condemned the burning of a T-shirt bearing a picture of President Jacob Zuma and called for discipline.
"We... call on those who are here to support the leadership to exercise maximum discipline and do so in a peaceful manner, regard and respect to the ANC process."
The league said it would never be associated with "unruly, disruptive elements and agents provocateurs".
Contacted for comment on being blamed by the ANC for the incidents, spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, who has his own disciplinary on Wednesday, said the league had no further comment outside of that statement.
He would also not elaborate on the disciplinary itself.
Malema, Shivambu, league deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi and treasurer general Pule Mabe face disciplinary charges which included bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing division in ANC ranks.
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