ANCYL hands over M&G memorandum

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iol news pic ANCYL march on Mail&Guardian SAPA ANC Youth League supporters demonstrate against what they call subjective reporting in the build up to last month's elections by the Mail & Guardian at the newspaper's offices in Johannesburg. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/SAPA

Johannesburg - The ANC Youth League delivered a memorandum to the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg on Thursday, claiming the newspaper was biased against President Jacob Zuma.

The party's provincial convenor Alex Mashilo said the memorandum was also being symbolically handed to other media and newspapers.

“We are saying watch out, we will do this to you if you do what the Mail & Guardian did.”

Mashilo said the memorandum requested balanced and fair reporting.

“We are not saying they must write nice things about us, but they must be fair in their reporting. We do not need their favour.”

On May 2, the M&G in its editorial urged voters to vote tactically to dilute the ANC power.

“In 1994, we asked you to vote for change. Twenty years later, we ask you to use your vote to dilute overweening political power.”

The paper's editor, Angela Quintal, received the memorandum from the league and said she would study it.

“We have invited your leadership to visit us sometime next week. We hope the leadership will let you know how our meeting went.”

Mashilo said the publication endorsed the opposition parties before elections.

He said the ANC had defeated the newspaper and the parties they endorsed when it won the 2014 elections.

When the supporters arrived outside the publication's offices at 7th Avenue, police closed the street to traffic.

They chanted and sang insulting songs about the paper.

“Phantsi nge Mail and Garbage phantsi” (Down with Mail and Garbage down), they said in Zulu.

“We are here to tell them voetsek,” they sang outside the offices while people watched and took photographs with their phones.

They also sang that the capitalist agenda was bewitching the president therefore they did not want it.

Supporters, mostly pupils, were given banners with the messages: “Hands off Jacob Zuma,” and “An attack on the president is an attack on democracy.”

The Democratic Alliance Youth said it was unacceptable for the Youth League to take pupils out of school during school hours to take partin the march.

“This is unacceptable, especially since it is exam time,” the DA's youth leader Mbali Ntuli said in a statement.


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