Journalist should apologise for ‘vulgarising fight against apartheid’

2012-06-29 14:26

ANC leaders lost their cool when a journalist told them the party had taught people to burn down and destroy public property.

This came during a briefing at the ANC’s policy conference this afternoon where the party said it would discipline members who engaged in violent protests.

Beeld’s Buks Viljoen asked the question, prompting ANC national executive member Lynne Brown to hit back angrily, calling him “you lot who voted for the government before 1994 and who tortured and murdered and maimed our people, who built communities that we have to reconstruct, hovels for those who are poor and leafy suburbs for the rich”.

She said the ANC never said people must destroy things, but rather they should build.

She added that a lot of people were disenfranchised, including her parents, and that they couldn’t walk on the streets without the fear of being killed.

“Today you can do that, but it doesn’t mean you have to destroy for your voice to be heard. You go to the ballot box, your voice will be heard, there are constituency offices you can go to,” she said.

All these things were there for people to interact with government, she said.

“You can’t equate the painful past with the blissful present, with all its flaws.”

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu also added his voice, saying “many of us who are sitting here, we sit with scars. We are trying very hard to forgive, but we will never forget.

“There are some of our family members and our friends who are no more, who died in the struggle against apartheid and it was a just struggle. The whole world called apartheid a crime against humanity.

“For those who come here saying we were not justified to fight that system and therefore are justified burning things built by a democratic state, the person when he gets the opportunity, should just apologise.

"I am not speaking for myself, and I know this is being carried live (on television), I am speaking for families who died fighting against apartheid. And for someone to vulgarise our fight against apartheid domination in this manner, it goes down difficult.”

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