ANC distances itself from Malema's comments

The ANC has issued a statement about ANCYL President Julius Malema's widely condemned actions during a press conference.

Here is the full statement:

ANC condemns untoward behaviour towards journalists

The ANC strongly condemns the behaviour of ANC Youth League President, cde Julius Malema, towards a BBC TV journalist, John Fisher (sic), at yesterday (April, 07, 2010) ANC Youth League press briefing. The aggressive and insultive behaviour to the said journalist that culminated with Mr Fisher walking out of the Youth League press briefing cannot be condoned at all.

The unfortunate outburst by cde Julius Malema did not only reflect negatively on him, but also reflected negatively on the ANC YL, the entire ANC family, our Alliance partners as well as South Africa in the eyes of the international community.

The behaviour in question, by the ANC YL president is not in keeping with the culture and traditions as well as conduct of a cadre and leader of the ANC.

No amount of alleged provocation that was directed to cde Julius Malema could justify such a response. We are of a firm view that this matter could have been handled differently. The leadership abilities and qualities of the position that cde Julius Malema holds, should have prepared him to deal with the issue in a manner that demonstrated leadership.

On the same note, we condemn whatever provocation that came from the side of the journalist directed to the Youth League President as it might have been seen as an attempt to undermine and mock the leadership of the ANC YL.

The ANC would also like all South Africans to condemn the behaviour of the AWB General Secretary, Mr Andre' Visagie, when he threatened a political commentator at the eTV broadcasting studios. This action by Mr Visagie equally does not augur well for the freedom of expression, as enshrined in our constitution. What is even more glaring on this matter is that Mr Visagie threatened a woman political commentator with the intention to harm during a live TV broadcast.

The ANC would also like to strongly disagree and distance itself from utterances by the ANC YL at their press conference yesterday that they will support President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF to win the forthcoming general elections in Zimbabwe.

The ANC stance on the Zimbabwe issue is that we fully support the mediation process that is currently underway, which is led and facilitated by President Jacob Zuma.

The ANC together with its government would like to see all political parties in Zimbabwe (the two MDC's and Zanu PF) implementing the spirit and the letter of the Global Political Agreement. It is therefore our view that the ANC YL's expression of support for one party in Zimbabwe goes against our country's and President Zuma's mediation efforts in that country.

The ANC will immediately arrange a meeting with the ANC YL to discuss matters raised in their press conference yesterday. These matters will include inter-alia, the matter raised in this press statement as well as matters relating to land, also matters relating to a call made by the ANC Officials for all ANC members and structures should restrain themselves in the singing of any struggle song that might be interpreted as contributing to racial polarisation.

In this envisaged urgent meeting, the ANC will also sharply raise with the ANC YL their utterances in matters relating to the death of Mr Eugene Terre'Blanche.


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