People scuffle outside a Stanger community hall where a fundraising event was disrupted by ANC Youth League members who dumped buckets of faeces at the entrance to the hall. Pictures: Gcina Ndwalane
Whenever I behaved badly enough at school to warrant a reprimand, the easy part was accepting the scolding or caning from the principal (yes, corporal punishment was legal).

The tough part was having to face the wrath of my disapproving parents after I got home.

Not so, it seems, with the ANC Youth League - the kindergarten wing of the ruling party - whose unruly members resorted to violence and vandalism to disrupt a fund-raising event in KwaDukuza on the North Coast last weekend.

In scenes reminiscent of the days when John Vorster’s bully boys were used to break up peaceful anti-apartheid gatherings, the noisy protesters, wearing ANC and ANCYL attire, stormed the venue, dumped faeces on the floor and threw stones at the hall where former finance minister Pravin Gordhan was the guest of honour.

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After forcing open a door, they started throwing food around and scared off the catering staff, causing the event to be abandoned.

I’ve been waiting a week now for national leaders in the ANC to condemn their young members for this act of blatant hooliganism.

But there’s been a deafening silence. Does their silence this mean consent? For its part, the Youth League is pleading ignorance, saying it did not know the protest was taking place. They’ve simply wiped their hands of the whole dirty business because, they say, the protest was not linked to them.

It is, however, encouraging that a provincial leader in the ANC has distanced himself from the disruption, but this is not enough.

What is needed is a categoric and unequivocal statement from the party’s national leaders that this brand of anarchy and vandalism must stop.

This is urgent, especially after speculation that Sunday’s incident in KwaDukuza could have been part of a deliberate pattern of intimidation of MPs involved in the ongoing inquiry into the “capture” of Eskom.

We have already heard disturbing allegations of MPs or their family being sent threatening messages, having their cars followed or tampered with, an attempt to bribe the inquiry’s evidence leader, and now the hooliganism against Gordhan. That is not democracy. It is tyranny by intimidation.

* Dennis Pather's Tongue In Cheek column appears in Independent Media titles every Sunday.

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

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