Johannesburg – The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has condemned the disruption of the book launch of Gangster State; Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture by a group of Magashule’s supporters.
On Tuesday evening, the author of Gangster State Pieter Louis Myburgh held a book launch at Exclusive Books in Sandton, but the event was cut short after a group of people who were dressed in ANC T-shirts disrupted the launch and proceeded to tear pages from the book.
The group were reported to have chanted "Ace, Ace" as they caused a commotion at the store in Sandton City. Security and the police had to be called in to calm the situation.
The group’s anger is directed at the subject of Myburgh’s book which centres on Magashule’s alleged corrupt activities while he was the premier of the Free State and the chairperson of the ANC in the province.
It has caused commotion since parts of the book were published in various newspapers last week Sunday. Magashule even threatened that he would approach the courts over what he labelled as "lies" published in the book.
Sanef said on Wednesday that such disruptions and disregard for freedom of speech had no place in South Africa’s democracy.
The organisation has called on the ANC to identify the individuals and discipline them.
"There can never be an excuse to intimidate an author for exercising his right to freedom of expression. Sanef encourages the protesters to make use of democratic institutions like the media, the courts or regulatory bodies to air their grievances with Myburgh about his book," said the organisation.