ANC, Malema hate speech attorneys to stay on

2012-09-25 19:56

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Johannesburg - The attorneys for expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and the ANC will continue representing both parties in the shoot the boer appeal after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) asked them to reconsider this, in the light of an apparent conflict.

"There are no divergent points. We will inform them that we will continue," said attorney Leslie Mkhabela on Tuesday.

They make common cause on the subject matter of the appeal, he said.

The SCA would be informed of the decision.

Comment from the ANC was not immediately available.

The SCA had questioned the use of the same legal team to represent both the African National Congress and its expelled youth league president in the appeal.

A letter by SCA registrar BJ Mashinini to the counsel representing both Malema and the ANC stated judges requested them to consider whether it was "appropriate for the same legal representatives to represent both appellants".

This was in "regard to the apparent conflict or disparity of interest between them", the letter said.

The judges sought a response by Tuesday.

'Not meant literally'

In September last year, the South Gauteng High Court, sitting at the Equality Court, convicted Malema of hate speech after lobby group AfriForum took him to court for singing the song.

At the time the ANC became an intervening party and defended the song, based on its use in the struggle against the apartheid.

Both Malema and the ANC said that when sung it was not meant literally, although AfriForum differed on this.

Judge Colin Lamont held the words undermined people's dignity and were discriminatory and harmful.

Malema lost an application in November for leave to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court against the ruling. He filed a notice of appeal with the SCA in December. Lamont granted him leave to appeal.

The SCA was expected to hear the matter in October.

It was then announced on 29 February by the ANC's national disciplinary committee that Malema was expelled from the ruling party, having been suspended for five years previously.

This was due to "sowing divisions" in the party and bringing the party "into disrepute".

An urgent application to enforce an order stopping Malema from singing shoot the boer was also lodged on September 5, AfriForum said at the time.

"This follows after Malema repeatedly sang the controversial song dubula ibhunu during his public appearances before mineworkers," the group's lawyer Willie Spies said in a statement.

He said Malema's conduct came amid rising tensions in the gold and platinum mining sector.

"In addition, Malema made various utterances attributing the difficulties of mineworkers to whites."

The application was lodged in the South Gauteng High Court.
- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  julius malema  |  hate speech
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