Johannesburg - "Hooliganism
is in the DNA of the ANC. We are not shocked that such happened,” the EFF’s Floyd Shivambu said after a scuffle involving ANC supporters broke out at Wits University.
“If you want to have a free and fair election, you must allow the multiplicity of views to find expression in this kind of debate. You can’t sideline the ANC, that’s why we had to manhandle ourselves to that mic,” said former Wits Student Representative Council president and ANC supporter Mukovhe Morris Masutha, who was involved in the brawl last night.
On Thursday, the university hosted the second leg of its debate series, which was supported by eNCA.
Masutha said that in the lead-up to the debate, the ANC had asked the producers for “proportional representation” during the Q&A session of the debate – and had been assured that would be the case.
But during the taping of the show, “the questions that came up were not only anti-ANC but were coming from the side of the DA and EFF”, he said.
Producer of the special broadcast, Mayleen Vincent, denied Masutha’s claims, saying debate facilitator Iman Rappetti had asked audience members who were interested in asking questions to make their way to the microphone area before the start of the show.
People then queued and were screened according to the speaker they wanted to address. Vincent said they tried to distribute the questions fairly – ensuring that all the speakers would be addressed equally – to avoid bias.
Shivambu, who is fourth on the EFF’s national candidate list, was invited to debate the youth vote along with the DA Youth leader Mbali Ntuli
, and Bonisile Modise from the ANC Youth League’s Gauteng task team.
Ntuli said: “This is the ANC that we have become accustomed to – undisciplined and unable to keep their members in order.”
The venue, which seats a little more than 1 000 people, was packed to capacity – with loud support for the EFF.
“I think the EFF is exciting and young people are drawn to excitement and they seem lively and fun, but this is politics where real issues are at stake. It’s not like a Pop Idol election where we are just going to vote for people on the basis of how many people were here to sing for them,” said Ntuli of the EFF’s strong showing.
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