Blade cuts down ANCYL group for disrupting Ace Magashule book launch

Blade Nzimande.
Blade Nzimande.
Image: Rogan Ward.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has hit out at ANCYL members from the Free State who interrupted the book launch of Pieter-Louis Myburgh, "Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture" on Tuesday evening.

Nzimande used the event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the assassination of SACP leader Chris Hani on Wednesday to call out the Fezile Dabi branch members to not trample on freedom of expression.

“This book of late about our SG... they have a right to raise objections and criticise that book, we give them that.But they have no right in our name to go and disrupt the launch of the book and also threaten to burn the book,” said Nzimande.

He added that the incident was a lesson as the alliance partners had allowed too many wrongs to happen on the basis that people are pursuing the right cause. Nzimande said such a situation should never be allowed and was pleased that the ANC called those disrupters to order.

“They have no right to do so; that is wrong and we are glad the ANC has condemned that [incident] because that is taking us back to the dark ages. Fighting for the right thing must not allow people to do wrong things,” he added.

Nzimande’s remarks come hours after a group of protesters, some wearing ANC t-shirts, stormed the Exclusive Books store in Sandton City on Tuesday night and tore out pages from Myburgh's book. Their presence resulted in the store's employee removing copies of Myburgh's book from the shelves. The controversial book claims to expose corruption in the Free State under Ace Magashule's time as premier.

Speaking minutes after Nzimande, Magashule said he shared the same views as Nzimande.

“I agree with comrade Blade. It’s unfortunate that comrades burned this book; there is no intellectualism about it. But what we have to do comrades... let those write whatever they want to write because we fought for freedom of speech,” said Magashule.

He said when people burn books, they make the authors relevant and that must be condemned, adding that ANC members should not be provoked by “agent provocateurs”.

Magashule was delivering a message of support on behalf of the ANC at the wreath laying ceremony of Hani at the Thomas Nkobi Memorial Park in Boksburg. Hani was assassinated on April 10 1993 outside his home in Boksburg.