South African Students Congress

On the attack of journalists and the trashing of streets

31 August 2011

We are not just perturbed but extremely angered by the thuggish behaviour of those mobilized by structures of the ANCYL to "show support for ANCYL President Julius Malema". We condemn the violence directed at journalists, the looting of some shops and threats on the lives of passers-by yesterday.

We are however extremely angered by the reported sexual harassment and assault on a female journalist by these hooligans who purport to be ANCYL members. The fact that this assault was directed at a female confirms our long held belief that patriarchal attitudes have a major impact on the actions of the majority of members of society, including those who claim to be revolutionaries. We call on the ANCYL not just do distance itself but to act decisively against those within its ranks who committed this sexual assault on a journalist and those who trashed SABC equipment etc.

The struggle of a society where there is no exploitation of humans – one by another – where economic freedom shall be enjoyed by all and not just by a coterie of those that are connected to the political elite will never be achieved so long as women are oppressed and attacked, and so long as chaos is pursued with brazen impunity. All those who have a yearning of economic freedom will never sexually assault females just to save one of their own.

We call on structures of SASCO to steer clear of commenting on these internal processes of the ANC, either in support of the YL leadership or that of the ANC. All those that enter the fray must do so not as members of SASCO but as members of these concerned organizations. These are internal ANC processes and should be left as such.

Mbulelo Mandlana, President, 071 879 3408
Lazola Ndamase, Secretary General, 082 679 8718