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Mail & Guardian hears youth league’s roar

The ANCYL accused the newspaper of leading a 'propagandist plot' against the ruling party.

ANC Youth League members and supporters protest outside the Mail & Guardian offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 5 June 2014. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC Youth League today called for accurate reporting in the media, saying "bad journalism" cannot be tolerated any longer.

League members marched to the Mail & Guardian offices in Rosebank this morning, accusing the newspaper of leading a "propagandist plot" against the ruling party ahead of the 7 May elections.

They voiced their anger over an article that was published before the polls in which the newspaper allegedly told readers to reduce the ruling party's majority by swelling the opposition vote.

The protesters, including school pupils dressed in uniform,handed over their memorandum to the publication's management this afternoon.

The league's Bones Modise says their expectations of the media are simple.

"Can you have free and fair reporting? That's all we ask," he says.

"If there's a story that the Mail & Guardian wants to run that's against the leadership of the ANC, we have no problem with that as long as the story's accurate."

The crowd caused quite a stir at in the area earlier, with staff coming out onto the balconies to watch as the crowd sang and threw insults at them.

In its own coverage of the protest, the Mail & Guardian said some of the school pupils at the protest were not aware of why it had been organised, quoting one as saying, "I don't know why we are here, we just came because we were told to."

She added, "What I am wondering is, will we get food after this?"

ANC HEADS TO SAHRC

The ANC yesterday submitted a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against Eyewitness News , Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Democratic Alliance Deputy Chief Whip Mike Waters.

The complaint against EWN pertains to an allegedly racist cartoon published last week which was then withdrawn and apologised for.

The cartoon, depicting ANC ministers and their voters as clowns, has also since been found by EWN ombudsman advocate George Bizos to possibly be in bad taste, but not racist.

"I am of the view that there is no basis for the allegation for racism," he said. "I would however request them [the cartoonists] to be less facetious in the future."

Meanwhile, Madonsela has denied claims that she insulted ANC voters during a University of Johannesburg function last week.

Madonsela reportedly implied that the ANC is like an abusive spouse saying, "Abused women don't stay because they enjoy the abuse, they stay because they hope things will change."

Waters is accused of racism after tweeting an image of dogs urinating on a poster of President Jacob Zuma.

Pictures by Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

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