Zuma boos: ANC threatens action

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma arrives at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, 10 December 2013. Picture: Refilwe Modise/The Citizen

Decisive action will be taken against any African National Congress member who might be behind the booing of President Jacob Zuma during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday.

This comes after Zuma was booed by a large section of the crowd as he made his entrance at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, while United States President Barack Obama was cheered.

“We need to act,” ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told The Citizen yesterday.

“This was not only an embarrassment to the ANC; it was an embarrassment to the country. We cannot have people in the ANC behaving in that manner.”

Mthembu said the ANC want to know why those people booed Zuma.

“For now we are concentrating on giving Mandela a big send-off and do not want to be distracted. But at the end of the day we need to know whether those people who booed Zuma are ANC members.”

Mthembu said the ANC is aware of allegations that the people who booed Zuma during the service might be Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters.

EFF leader Julius Malema took to Twitter to deny claims that EFF supporters booed Zuma.

“I’ve taken responsibility at all times for our actions,” Malema tweeted.

“The booing at FNB Stadium belongs exclusively to the ANC. We have seen people in ANC co-lours booing. Whatever you have against the EFF should not blind you, please.”

Speaking at the interfaith prayer organised by the ANC Women’s League at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg yesterday, ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile condemned the incident.

“That behaviour was wrong. We can’t go around as South Africans and boo our leaders,” he said.

“There is a proper way of rai-sing grievances. We were brought up by Mandela and he taught us to respect our leaders.”

EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Zuma was booed by South Africans who are ANC members.

The SABC reacted late yesterday after City Press reported online that it learned from different sources at the public broadcaster’s news division that instructions were given to ban broadcasts of the booing.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the millions of South Africans and people all over the world, including the media, expected the broadcaster to show the memorial service of Madiba as is.

He added that the SABC heeded this call and showed the “booing or the said incident as we carried a live broadcast”.

“It is the prerogative of the SABC to decide to use its discretion in line with its editorial codes and what it deems as a top story for the day…” said Kganyago.

“It is also imperative to note that it is not true to insinuate that at the time of the said ‘booing’ of President Jacob Zuma, the SABC switched off the screens at the stadium and showed Nelson Mandela’s picture for 30 minutes.”

today in print

today in print