Malema loses bid for Constitutional Court appeal

2011-11-05 07:47

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has lost an application for leave to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court against a hate speech ruling.

In court papers, stamped on Wednesday, the court ruled it was not in the interests of justice for it to hear the application at this stage.

“It is not in the interests of justice for this court to hear the application at this stage, because leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal has been granted.”

The ANC joined the application to appeal as a respondent alongside Malema. The court did not make a ruling as to costs.

High Court Judge Colin Lamont found Malema guilty of hate speech in September for singing the song “Shoot the Boer” at several public events.

Malema was granted leave to appeal later that month by Lamont who said there was a “reasonable prospect” another court could come to a different conclusion.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said at the time the party wished to be heard by the highest court in the land on the matter. The ANC would file a direct appeal to the Constitutional Court in the interim, he said.

ANC legal representative Muzi Sikhakhane said if this were granted, the parties would abandon approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu was nonplussed yesterday when told that the application was dismissed.

“I am not aware of that ... We are going to the Supreme Court of Appeal and appeal there. It’s the simplest thing.” Malema was taken to the Equality Court by lobby group AfriForum and farmers’ union TAU SA.

The parties argued that the words of the song were threatening to minorities, and a threat to the safety of Afrikaners and farmers.

In his ruling, Lamont said: “No justification exists for allowing the words to be sung ... The words were in any event not sung on a justifiable occasion.”

The ANC has argued that banning the song was tantamount to erasing history, and the party and the country’s struggle heritage.

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