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Threats to burn Myburgh book a 'flagrant attack' on democracy - Parliament

Parliament's presiding officers Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise said while protests were part of a lively and robust democracy, they must be conducted within the bounds of the law.

FILE: The launch of Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book 'Gangster State' at Sandton City Mall. Picture: Bonga Dlulane/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament has added its voice to the condemnation of ANC supporters who disrupted the launch of journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh's book Gangster State.

Parliament's presiding officers Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise have also described threats to burn copies of the book as "repulsive acts of criminality and a flagrant attack on the key principles of our Constitutional democracy".

The book details serious allegations of corruption against ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

Parliament's reaction follows that of ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu who called for action to be taken against the supporters who took part in the disruption of the book launch from which Myburgh had to flee to safety.

In a statement, Parliament said a strong and clear message should be sent by the criminal justice system that the events of Tuesday evening had no place in the country's democracy.

"Ours is a democracy founded on supremacy of the Constitution, its Bill of Rights and the rule of law. The Constitution’s Bill of Rights guarantees everyone the right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom to receive and impart information or ideas," Parliament said.

Mbete and Modise said while protests were part of a lively and robust democracy, they must always be conducted within the bounds of the law.

"Those who are aggrieved by the contents of the book have recourse provided by our legislative instruments, instead of attacking the legitimate actions of the writers, publishers and book stores to bring matters that may well be uncomfortable to light," the presiding officers said.

Magashule has also condemned the actions of the supporters, rejecting claims that they disrupted the book launch in his name.

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