Malema dares journalists

2010-04-08 15:35

Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League's president attacked the media at a briefing on Thursday, calling a BBC journalist a "bastard" and an "agent".

Julius Malema was addressing the media on the ANCYL's recent visit to Zimbabwe.

He criticised Zimbabwean opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change, saying they should go back to Zimbabwe instead of working from offices in Sandton, Johannesburg.

British Broadcasting Corporation journalist Jonah Fisher interjected, saying Malema lived in Sandton - unleashing a barrage of insults.

"This is a building of a revolutionary party and you know nothing about revolution so here you behave or else you jump," he said, speaking from Luthuli House in the Johannesburg CBD.

'White tendency'

Fisher attempted to respond, but Malema did not relent.

"Chief, can you get security to remove this thing here?" he requested of staff present on Luthuli House's 11th floor, the venue for most party media briefings.

"If you are not going to behave we are going to call security to take you out. This is not a newsroom this, this is a revolutionary house and you don't come here with your white tendency. Don't come here with that white tendency, not here, you can do it somewhere else.

"If you've got a tendency of undermining blacks even where you work you are in the wrong place."

To which Fisher replied: "That's rubbish."

Malema then asked him to leave saying: "... Rubbish is what you have covered in that trouser, that is rubbish."

"You are a small boy, you can't do anything. Bastard, go out, you bladdy agent."

No comment from BBC

The BBC declined to comment when contacted after the briefing.

The attack was preceded by a general one on the media after Malema was asked whether he met business people on his Zimbabwean visit last weekend.

He charged that journalists were "obsessed" with him.

"You come here, you say we met with business people, meaning you did not concentrate during that visit.

"You know you are obsessed with wrong... sensational reporting and you are desperate to make profit and you've run out of skills and strategies on how to make money.

Complaint lodged with Mantashe

"You have become obsessed with an individual and as a result you have lost your minds. All of you, irrespective, all of you."

He continued: "The best journalists we know, they should be ashamed of you, that you can go all out to lie about an individual because you want to sell newspapers.

"You are obsessed and obsession is a sickness. You are sick because of the style of reporting you have come to follow... you are misleading the SA population."

Later, he invited journalists who wished to leave in solidarity with the BBC to do so, though none complied.

Political reporters recently lodged a complaint with ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe about ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu - who threatened to reveal personal information about reporters should they fail to publish a story about a City Press journalist's allegedly accepting bribes.