Small group of ANCYL supporters in Joburg ahead of Malema disciplinary

31 August 2011 - 12:55 By Sapa
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A group of ANCYL supporters has arrived in Joburg's city centre, singing and dancing in support of their leader Julius Malema

By Wednesday morning, rocks in the streets had been moved to the sides of the roads around Luthuli House.

Passers-by were strolling through Beyers Naude Square, which was strewn with litter and empty beer bottles.

Police officials said a colleague who was hit by a rock on Tuesday received stitches in hospital and was back on duty on Wednesday.

Media and police were standing in groups chatting in and around the square, while some were at a nearby Wimpy having coffee.

Roads around Luthuli House, where there was a strong police presence, were briefly closed around 10am and then reopened.

Journalists who had arrived early expressed nervousness ahead of the second day of the hearing.

Jacaranda FM reporter Melissa du Preez was groped and pushed around by rioters on Tuesday.

"I'm hoping I won't have to fear for my life again. I'm hoping it will be a bit more restrained. I was frightened when driving here this morning and praying that other journalists would be here early as well. There's safety in numbers."

Eyewitness News reporter Andrea van Wyk was also groped, sworn at and called a bitch and an Afriforum agent.

"I will be a bit more cautious today and I hope demonstrators will heed Malema's call not to target journalists."

Most businesses were open after closing their doors on Tuesday when Malema supporters became violent.

A policeman and six journalists were hit by rocks, including a Carte Blanche cameraman, Dudley Saunders, who had a bleeding gash on his forehead, according to reports on Wednesday.

Sapa photographer Werner Beukes, two eNews journalists, Belinda Moses and Cathy Mohlahlana, The Star photographer Boxer Ngwenya and Citizen photographer Michel Bega were also hit by rocks thrown by Malema supporters.

The ANC initially said the hearing would be moved to a different venue, but spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Wednesday morning it would continue at Luthuli House.

"The hearing will be held at Luthuli House. However, if the situation does not improve from Tuesday, it will be moved to an alternative venue," Mthembu said.

"The national disciplinary committee would make the final decision when or if to move venues."

Malema, league spokesman Floyd Shivambu, league deputy president Ronald Lamola, secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, his deputy, Kenetswe Mosenogi, and treasurer general Pule Mabe face charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions in ANC ranks.

This was after Malema said the ANCYL would send a team to Botswana to consolidate local opposition parties and help bring about regime change, as it believed the government there was "in full cooperation with imperialists" and was undermining the "African agenda".

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the hearing continued despite the violence.

Business Day reported that Malema suffered a setback at the start after failing in a bid to have the ANC members conducting the hearing recused.

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