Luthuli House march not related to Juju hearing

2012-01-23 14:30

About hundred people demonstrated outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg today, but the protest was unrelated to ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s disciplinary hearing.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, spokesperson for the Johannesburg Metro police, said the protesters were Congolese nationals.

They were showing support for their countrymen who were appearing in court on public violence charges related to a protest staged last week.

Malema’s disciplinary hearing started at Luthuli House today.

A handful of his supporters were outside the governing party’s head office.

Prisoner rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu stood on a nearby wall, holding up a placard in support of Malema.

“Cde Cyril (Ramaphosa) do the right thing. There is no case here, only shackles,” it read.

Ramaphosa, in his capacity as ANC appeals committee chairperson, would hear oral arguments at Malema’s hearing at Luthuli House today.

Supporters were unsure if the hearing had begun. SABC radio news reported at 11am that it was underway.

“I have been here since six this morning. And I will wait here until we are told what is happening inside,” Bhudu said.

The 49-year-old activist said he supported the youth league because it was raising issues that “elderly” ANC members had not spoken out on.

“The youth need wisdom from people like us. They have raised very crucial and sensitive issues like land reform and economic freedom. Issues that the elders should have raised.”

At noon today a police convoy escorted several vehicles out of the building. Officials nearby refused to confirm whether Malema was one of the passengers.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said party members were instructed not to comment on the hearing.

“The media have been kept out, and we don’t know anything about it. The media might receive information once the hearing is completed.”

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