‘Don’t attack the messengers’ – Malema

2011-08-30 15:25

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has pleaded with his supporters to show revolutionary discipline following attacks on police and journalists.

Wearing a T-shirt bearing the face of former SA Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani, Malema called on his supporters to be disciplined.“We can’t have a fight with Luthuli House. Let’s not give the enemy a chance to attack us,” he said.

Malema supporters earlier attacked police and journalists. One police officer was taken to hospital after being hit by a stone in the face.

A number of journalists were injured. Cameraman Dudley Saunders was hit on the head by a stone, but kept his camera rolling despite bleeding.

Sapa journalists on the scene said at least five other members of the media – including Sapa photographer Werner Beukes, two eNews journalists, Belinda Moses and Cathy Mohlahlana, The Star photographer Boxer Ngwenya and Citizen photographer Michel Bega – were hit by rocks thrown by Malema supporters.

Said Malema: “You cannot throw stones at journalists because journalists are just messengers.”He added that journalists must be kept safe because they are responsible for shaping public opinion about the youth league.

“You are going to lose public sympathy,” he said.

The league’s violence has prompted the Umkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) to call for charges to be brought against Malema and his executive.

The league’s top five officials are in the dock for misconduct.

Cosas president Bongani Mani took a swipe at Malema and his allies for bringing Soweto school children to the march during school hours.

“They intimidated school children to come here. We are not afraid of the league leadership. They are not indispensable,” he said.

Malema’s disciplinary hearing is in session at Luthuli House. If found gulity on the charge of sowing divisions in the ANC, Malema will be summarily suspended by the party’s national disciplinary committee.

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