Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema has labelled the disruption of the book launch of Gangster State as "thuggery" and "anti-intellectual".
Malema was speaking during an EFF presser on Wednesday and said there had been a book written about him but he never had the urge to call for the books to be burnt.
He was commenting on Tuesday night’s disruption of the book launch of Gangster State; Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture at Exclusive Books in Sandton.
The event was cut short after a group of people who were dressed in ANC T-shirts disrupted the launch and proceeded to tear pages from the book.
The group were reported to have chanted "Ace Ace" as they caused a commotion at the store. The book is written by journalist Pieter Louis Myburgh and centres on Magashule's alleged corrupt activities while he was the premier of the Free State and the chairperson of the ANC in the province.
Malema said there is no purpose in burning books that one disagrees with.
"To go into the extent of going into bookshops that is anti-intellectualism. It's anti-intellectuals who do such a thing. You have to read people you disagree with in order to understand where they are coming from," said Malema.
He claimed the commotion at the book launch was orchestrated by the ANC and that its leadership was aware of it.
"The new dawn is now burning books. It is the same new dawn that released a statement on Ace," said Malema.
He said ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu's condemnation of the disruption was hypocritical as he had been the one who led the charge encouraging people not to buy the City Press in 2012 when the ANC was unhappy about a painting of former president Jacob Zuma which was published in the paper.
"The burning of the book is thuggery. I saw Jackson Mthembu condemning their behaviour and yet he called for City Press not to be bought," said Mthembu.
The ANC and Magashule have since condemned the disruptions and have distanced themselves from the individuals who disrupted the book launch.IOL