ANCYL denies disrupting Zuma's speech
Cape Town - The ANC Youth League has denied that its members disrupted President Jacob Zuma's centenary address in Cape Town on Thursday because of differences with ANC leadership.
"This notion is conclusively incorrect and spread by opponents of ANC unity, particularly as it celebrates 100 years of existence," ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement on Friday.
He said the disruption was caused by members of the African National Congress.
"The ANCYL is concerned with the manner in which ANC members in the Western Cape disrupted the lecture," he said.
"The... league condemns such actions and calls on all members of the ANC to respect leadership and choose correct platforms to express their frustrations and disapproval of some among the leadership."
Doing this would be a sign of maximum discipline and it would not be difficult to do during the ANC's elective conference in December, said Shivambu.
"The leadership of the ANC carries a responsibility to listen to all its members and should never close doors on anyone," he said.
Two people were arrested following the disruption at the Good Hope Centre.
At the time, the SABC reported that several ANCYL members were thrown out of the centre when they started singing during Zuma's speech.
Cameraman Rudi le Roux was apparently hit with a chair while filming an anti-Zuma protest outside.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the attack on Le Roux was "regrettable".
ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga called Le Roux on Friday morning and apologised on behalf of the party.
"We are pleased that Mr Le Roux has been discharged from hospital following his admission yesterday," Motshekga's office said.
Vilification of the media
The Cape Town Press Club said the attack against Le Roux illustrated the ANC's stance against the media.
"This incident is a consequence of the vilification of the media from within the ruling party," it said.
"It has provided the licence to unruly elements to vent their anger against the media, who unlike the president, are not protected by a field of armed bodyguards."
Speaking in Johannesburg earlier on Thursday, Zuma said the ANCYL was a part of the ANC and not a separate entity.
It should present ideas to the ANC itself and within ANC structures. Unless its proposals were accepted by the ANC, they were not ANC policy, he said.
On February 16, ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola said its president Julius Malema would not be removed from his position by any other than the ANCYL structures.
Malema, Shivambu, ANCYL secretary general Sandiso Magaqa, Lamola, and two other officials were found guilty in November of bringing the ANC into disrepute and of sowing division in the party.
They are awaiting the outcome of arguments in mitigation and aggravation of their suspensions, which range from 18-months to five years.
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