Evidence that leaders set up Malema riot

2011-09-02 00:00

POLICE crime intelligence operatives have been unleashed to investigate those behind the ANC Youth League’s riot in support of their leader Julius Malema this week as evidence grows implicating the youth wing’s top leaders in organising the dramatic protest.

The move comes as the ANC Youth League continues to insist that its national leadership had no hand in organising the busing of supporters to Johannesburg this week, while the ANC itself lays the blame squarely at the youth wing’s door.

A national law enforcement source told Media24 Investigations that the police crime intelligence unit has been brought in to the investigation as the ANC hunts down the ringleaders of the protest that escalated into violence.

The revelation also provides some explanation for national police commissioner General Bheki Cele’s arrival at Luthuli House on Tuesday at the height of the protest.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said he was not aware of the crime intelligence investigation.

“We are not part of the state machinery so we are not aware of that.” He would not discuss the party’s own actions, saying it was premature until a meeting scheduled for early next week was held.

The top law enforcement official said the investigation is being given top priority and that the police and the ANC were stunned at the level of organisation involved in getting the thousands of supporters out on to the streets.

The official said the ANC was also doing its own investigation, which included tracking down service providers of equipment and transport for the event to isolate the source of funding in a bid to locate key players.

The police did not respond to requests for official comment yesterday.

Media24 Investigations has spoken to a number of bus owners whose vehicles were seen at the protest.

They confirmed that the vehicles were hired and paid for by the youth league.

Media24 Investigations has established that:

• Last week NEC members formally approached regional Youth League leaders and instructed them to support Malema and to organise supporters;

• NEC members actively assisted them to develop logistical plans to send thousands of supporters to Johannesburg;

• At least one NEC member is alleged to have approached a leading business figure for financial support in busing supporters, and;

• The Youth League spent at least R1,2 million in busing thousands of supporters in at least 54 buses and scores of taxis to Luthuli House, based on an average cost per bus of around R23 000, according to bus company owners interviewed;

Two provincial Youth League insiders described how, at the Eastern Cape’s general council meeting last week, it was made clear that the national office of the youth league was ordering provinces to arrange for Malema’s support and to deliver them to Johannesburg.

The two said they were uncomfortable with the instructions.

Kebby Maphatsoe, the chairman of the Mkhonto weSizwe Veterans’ Association, said: “This was clearly well-planned and orchestrated mission by the ANC Youth League NEC. It is clear that the leadership of the ANCYL was involved in organising these protesters because provincial general councils were held on their instructions”.

Andile Lungisa, ANCYL NEC member and chair of the National Youth Development Agency, confirmed the NEC’s involvement in assisting to organise Malema’s support, saying they “communicated” to all provincial structures to stand behind him.

But Youth League spokesperson Magdalene Moonsamy insisted yesterday that the NEC had nothing to do with organising the protesters and that the organisation’s regions decided on their own during provincial general council meetings.

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