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J. S. MALEMA: Why I kicked out the britisch journalist Jonah Fisher

J. S. MALEMA: Why I kicked out the britisch journalist Jonah Fisher

ANCYL president, J. S. MALEMA says he would consider an apology from BBC journalist


Today, the 8th of April 2010, we instructed a Journalist to be removed from ANC Youth League Press Conference for interjecting whilst we were addressing the Press conference (see video). At the beginning of the Press Conference, ANC Youth League Spokesperson indicated that Journalists who were at the Press Conference will ask questions and we will respond as leadership of the ANC Youth League after questions have been posed. The Spokesperson even emphasised when he was taking the first round of questions that another round of questions from all Journalists present will be taken.

In the process answering to questions, a white guy, whom we later discovered is a reporter from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) interjected when we were expressing the disgust over the fact that the MDC is throwing insults at the ANC Youth League leadership from air-conditioned offices in Sandton, whilst the masses are on the ground in Zimbabwe. He, in a very scornful way responded saying that "but you stay in Sandton". We responded by saying that he should respect the reality that we were at the Head Office of the ANC, not Newsroom, where he can speak as he wishes.

In the process of clarifying such a reality, the Journalist said we are speaking nonsense and rubbish repeatedly, and we then got agitated to say all the things we have said about the Journalist, including that he is an "agent", but emphasising that he should leave the Press Conference. In the subsequent intervention, we highlighted to all Journalists present that we are not undermining press freedom, but expressed disgust over the fact that the Journalist disrespected our proceedings.

We are not remorseful on our stance and will never be remorseful about disrespectful Journalists; particularly from countries whose media always undermine the credibility and integrity of African leaders. Our doors are however open for engagement with the Journalist if he intends to render an apology and we will from there decide what will happen. We will forever remain as defenders of free speech and media freedom, but these should be expressed within certain confines, such as respecting our space.

We are disturbed on how most media houses have portrayed a distorted picture on what exactly happened. They presented a picture that we just responded to the Journalists without provocation and that is mischievous. We respect the rights of Journalists to openly engage on whatever issue they want deem suitable, but they should not be disrespectful.

*Statement issued by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema, April 8 2010