Army won't intervene in ANCYL unrest
Cape Town - The army will not intervene in the violence outside the ANC's headquarters in central Johannesburg, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said in Cape Town on Tuesday.
"That is a matter for the police," Sisulu told journalists.
"We defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. That matter we will not entertain at the moment.
"If it is the burning of T-shirts, that is a police matter. And I am certain the police are perfectly competent to will deal with it."
Supporters of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema pelted the police and journalists with rocks and burned T-shirts with the image of President Jacob Zuma outside Luthuli House on Tuesday morning, where Malema and other ANCYL leaders were due to face a disciplinary hearing.
National youth service
Sisulu said that had plans for a national youth service gone ahead, the riots outside of Luthuli House would "not be happening".
"No it (the national youth service) didn't happen sadly. What we did was try and solicit the support of national executives of various political parties and churches, so we could get the buy-in of the youth into this programme.
"We had anticipated that by now we would have trained about 2 000, and I could assure you this would not be happening if this had gone forward."
The plan was for the service to train young men and women in among others, personal discipline, civic education, patriotism and the necessity of volunteering.
The department, Sisulu said, was "unfortunately" interdicted from going ahead with the plan by civil rights group AfriForum.
"We had to stop until the case was over. The case was thrown out of court and sadly the country has lost out on the opportunity which we could have utilised. However, we still want to appeal to all youth to respond to this.
"It is not a political programme. It is across the board. It is not a boot camp. It works. It is a hard slop, but it works."
AfriForum had argued the SA National Defence Force wanted to use the service to train ANCYL Youth League and Young Communist League members.