ANC supporters disrupt Julius Malema gathering

2014-04-24 17:48

Supporters of the ANC at the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal disrupted Julius Malema’s campaign, forcing him to address a handful of supporters outside the venue.

By the time Malema arrived at the campus, students wearing ANC T-shirts bearing President Jacob Zuma’s face were waiting for him on the upper level of the hall.

They sang anti-Malema and pro-ANC songs as Economic Freedom Fighters supporters waited patiently for Malema to arrive.

Attempts by university officials to get the students to leave the venue fell on deaf ears.

Their shouting and singing grew louder as Malema attempted to speak to his supporters, forcing him to go outside, where he held an impromptu gathering with sections of the crowd that had followed him.

Undeterred, Malema told his supporters that his disrupters were jeering him because they could “see that we are making progress”.

“Dogs never bark at a stationary car,” he said as he stood on the stairs of the hall’s back exit.

This was the first time he took his campaign to KwaZulu-Natal in earnest, especially the ANC’s biggest region of eThekwini.

Some of the students said they had come to hear him as they were hoping he would address their concerns about the funding of their education. They said they were embarrassed by the disruptions as this showed political intolerance.

Malema echoed the same views about “the rented crowd in yellow T-shirts” from his makeshift podium.

“When you are an aspirant intellectual, you must separate intolerance from political engagement so that you can hear the other side of the story.

“We have no problem addressing people who are wearing ANC T-shirts, but we have a problem if they become rowdy. This place is supposed to be a festival of ideas,” he said.

He had already defeated them, he said, and the next round would be at the elections next month.

Disrupters continued to sing from a distance, calling him a hypocrite, even as he went into his now familiar tirade about Zuma’s swimming pool and cattle kraal at Nkandla.

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