Malema supporters run amok during Zuma’s ANC lecture
10 July 2012 | NGWAKO MODJADJI and SAPA
JOHANNESBURG - Five ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema supporters were arrested and taken away in a police van.
They were later released after receiving a warning.
This was after about 300 Malema supporters protesting outside the venue started singing anti-Zuma slogans and forcing their way towards the venue at about 4pm.
They carried banners displaying a photograph of Malema and sang songs such as “Malema, pray for us”, “Bring Malema back” and “Zuma, you are a rapist”.
Scuffles erupted with ANC security officers and police were called in to defuse the situation. They were verbally abused by the Malema supporters in the process.
Zuma began speaking after 5pm. Violence continued outside the hall during the address and police used water cannon to disperse protesters.
Security had been beefed up in and around the venue where Zuma was scheduled to deliver the lecture.
This included a strong police presence and barbed wire.
Political analyst Elvis Masoga said that the heightened security had been aimed at those who might try to disrupt Zuma's speech.
Former president Nelson Mandela’s family attended the lecture, which dealt with Mandela’s legacy.
It took place in the home province of Malema, where he still commands powerful support. Since his expulsion, there has been dissatisfaction amongst league members.
Malema was reportedly said to be in Johannesburg and had not been expected to attend.
Meanwhile, the league indicated that it had no intention of disrupting the lecture.
The day got off to a bad start with a chaotic accreditation system.
Numerous people attending the event had to wait for about two hours, and long queues formed at the accreditation venue.
Zuma was hosted by the Vhembe region of the ANC, which has 43 000 members, making it the biggest region in Limpopo. It has produced a number of prominent ANC members and MK cadres.
Limpopo has announced its support for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Today, the ANC will be in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape, Mandela’s birthplace, to launch the Nelson Mandela Legacy Bridge over the Mbashe river.
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