28 July 2017

South Africa: Amabhungane - BLF-Linked Disruption of #GuptaLeaks Town Hall Discussion Deplorable

Photo: allafrica.com
Top: Title image of former public protector Thil Madonsela's state capture report. Bottom-left: Atul Gupta. Bottom-right: Logo of Black First Land First.

Daily Maverick does not normally republish statements but the behaviour of people linked to Black First Land First (BLF) on Thursday night at the amaBhungane town discussion, "Inside the #GuptaLeaks", requires that we break with traditional practice. This is amaBhungane's full statement.

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism deplores the disruption of our "Inside the #GuptaLeaks" town hall event in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Thursday and regrets the distress caused to members of the public.

Our intended panel discussion was disrupted by several dozen persons who appeared to act in concert with Andile Mngxitama, the leader of Black First Land First (BLF). They sang, shouted and physically threatened participants and members of the public, rendering proceedings impossible. A knife was brandished at one stage.

After roughly an hour, we cancelled formal proceedings at the request of the owners of the premises, who were concerned about the safety of their property. Some members of the audience, however, stayed or returned after Mngxitama and the group had left. We then had a short, informal discussion about what had just transpired and the #GuptaLeaks.

We salute members of the audience, who all stood their ground until we announced the cancellation.

AmaBhungane town hall events...

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