ANC tight-lipped about Malema hearing
Johannesburg - The ANC remained tight-lipped on Wednesday about the disciplinary hearing involving youth league leader Julius Malema and his five co-accused.
African National Congress spokesperson Keith Khoza said the hearing continued and the disciplinary committee would deal with each of the accused individually.
"The are in the hearing... they are to deal with each person as an individual," he said, without giving more details.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu declined to comment on the hearing's proceedings.
Neither would he comment on the venue, which the ANC had initially said would be changed after Tuesday's violence by league supporters, but then had decided to keep at party headquarters in Johannesburg's city centre.
Reports on Wednesday said Malema failed in a bid on Tuesday to get the ANC members hearing the charges to recuse themselves.
Committee chairperson Derek Hanekom, Mining Minister Susan Shabangu and Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane were on the panel.
Malema supporters on Wednesday marched in the streets around Luthuli House, whistling, blowing vuvuzelas and pointing at the building and saying, "Voetsek".
Some held up placards stating, "Juju a profound thinker... a champion of our economic policies".
The SA Students Congress (Sasco) and the Eastern Cape ANC condemned the violent behaviour by ANC Youth League supporters on the first day of the hearing.
"We are extremely angered by the reported sexual harassment and assault on a female journalist by these hooligans who purport to be ANCYL members," Sasco president Mbulelo Mandlana said outside Luthuli House.
"We call on the ANCYL not just to distance itself but to act decisively against those within its ranks who committed this sexual assault... and those who trashed equipment," he said.
On Tuesday, rioters trashed Johannesburg's streets and attacked journalists and police officers, several of whom were hit by rocks, while women journalists reported being groped.
The ANC in the Eastern Cape also "strongly condemned the regrettable acts of hooliganism".
"We are utterly dismayed by the burning of the ANC flags, t-shirts and posters bearing the face of the president.
We request the NEC [national executive committee] to spare no effort in identifying these culprits and they must face the full might of our disciplinary processes," said provincial spokesperson Mlibo Qhoboshiyane in a statement.
"It is our view that those who have taken the responsibility to mobilise and bus crowds to gather outside Luthuli House - the leadership of the ANC Youth League -- should also take full responsibility for the violence, criminality and ill-discipline that has accompanied these crowds."
The Congress of SA Trade Unions in Limpopo also called for ANCYL officials to be disciplined.
Earlier on Wednesday, supporters, including some children, held posters saying, "Hands off our youth league president", "Juju fever", and: "Juju never said let's bomb Botswana like imperialists from Libya or Iraq".
Some wore t-shirts portraying the face of ousted president Thabo Mbeki, who was removed from office a few months after Jacob Zuma became leader of the African National Congress.
Journalists and police in riot gear watched from behind a barbed wire barricade.
On Tuesday, Malema urged his supporters to refrain from attacking the media and police.
Police officials said their colleague who was hit by a rock on Tuesday had received stitches in hospital and was back on duty on Wednesday.
Most businesses were open again after closing their doors on Tuesday.
Malema, league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu, deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy Kenetswe Mosenogi, and treasurer general Pule Mabe were facing charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in ANC ranks.
This was after Malema said the ANCYL would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and to help bring about regime change, as it believed the government there was "in full co-operation with imperialists" and was undermining the "African agenda".