The gathering of a second Election debate hosted at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg became the scene of a brawl among the youths of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Front (EFF) party and the African National Congress (ANC) party.
The venue at the University seats about 1,000 people and the place was packed to full capacity. There was a piercing support for the EFF party among the visitors. A question and answer debate between political parties was hosted for the EFF, the ANC and the Democratic Alliance (DA). It was understood the ANC asked the producers of the event to allow the ANC effective representation during the debate and commitment was given.
During the event, the producers tried to distribute the questions evenly among the participants and to avoid unfairness. Audience members wanting to raise questions to the leaders were asked to proceed to the microphone area and were queued according to the interested party, and a screening was conducted.
The party representatives for the debate were Floyd Shivambu, from the EFF candidate list, Mbali Ntuli, the youth leader of the DA, and the ANC youth representative Bonisile Modise. Questions asked by the contending public members were mostly anti-ANC and came from both the EFF and DA according to Modise. During the show, the questions that came up were not only anti-ANC but were coming from the side of the DA and EFF said a former Wits Student and ANC supporter, Mukovhe Morris Masutha, after a skirmish took place between him and Shivambu from the EFF party
Masutha said the other parties could not sideline the ANC and in a free and fair election, diversity of view should be allowed to consider the expression during a debate. He went on to say this was the reason why the ANC youth had to push themselves to the microphone.
Ntuli from the DA said this type of behavior is what South Africa had become accustomed to. The ANC youth, she said were disobedient and could not maintain order among their members. She said the EFF is exciting and noted how the young people were drawn into the enthusiasm of the party and retained that this was politics with real issues at stake, not a pop idol poll. She said the number of people singing for a single group could not determine the method of a vote.
After the fight, Shivambu said he was not shocked at what occurred. He stated the DNA of the ANC was hooliganism.
Floyd Shivambu, an activist is a suspended ANC youth league spokesperson who joined the EFF in support of his relationship to Julius Malema. He is the number four candidate on the EFF’s national candidate list and would maintain a seat in parliament with theEFF leader Julius Malema after the May 7 election.
This unruly behavior by the ANC youth is not the first incident, this youth league is known for disorderly behavior in the past and could once again come under discipline action. Julius Malema would be proud of Shivambu for taking a firm stand against the brawl between the EFF and ANC youth.
By Laura Oneale