Shivambu files papers with Equality Court

2011-04-13 15:04

ANC Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu filed papers with the Equality Court yesterday in response to a hate speech case brought against him by Independent Newspapers journalist Carien du Plessis.

Shivambu is accused in the Equality Court of hate speech for allegedly calling Du Plessis “stupid” and a “white bitch” in cellphone text messages.

The matter started last Tuesday.

April 13 2011 was set as the date for Shivambu’s lawyers to file papers in response to the allegations.

The complaint dates back to May 18 2010.

Du Plessis alleged that in an SMS exchange between herself and Shivambu, he wrote: “You must learn to respect people. I don’t comment on YCL (Young Communist League) issues and please stop being stupid.”

He also allegedly wrote: “I wouldn’t want to earn respect from white bitches... so dream on.”

The youth league launched a public and personal attack on Du Plessis last week.

In an email sent to the youth league and the African National Congress’s media lists, Du Plessis was described as a liar with “tendencies”, without mention of what tendencies meant.

The youth league’s spokesperson, Magdalene Moonsamy, emailed the statement about Du Plessis to media houses.

“The ANCYL is aware that such allegations are lies and false and confirmed that at no stage has Cde Floyd Shivambu sent her (Du Plessis) such text messages.

“Those who know Carien du Plessis will be aware of her tendencies and that the allegations that she apportions to Cde Floyd are indeed false and will soon be exposed,” she wrote.

The youth league said the case against Shivambu was “once again agitation through the media to spread lies against the leadership of the ANCYL”.

Moonsamy, at the end of the statement, added: “We are aware that the case is sub judice and that facts will be presented to the Equality Court and hence, the ANCYL will not entertain the issue further until it (is) before the Equality Court.”

Du Plessis referred all queries to her lawyer Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti, who said her client declined to comment on the matter.

“My client prefers not to comment on the content of the media statement issued by the ANCYL or the appropriateness of issuing such a statement.

“She stands by her complaint and looks forward to having the merits of the case decided in the appropriate forum, which is the Equality Court.”

Du Plessis wants an order declaring that the labels allegedly applied to her by Shivambu constituted hate speech, an order requiring him to issue an unconditional written apology, payment of R100?000 damages and the costs of the suit.

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