Malema: Big screen intimidating?

2011-04-19 14:20

Johannesburg - A large TV screen outside the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, which allows ANC Youth League supporters to watch the hate speech trial of their president Julius Malema, may stop opposing counsel from coming to proceedings.

Counsel for the farmers' organisation TAU-SA, Roelof du Plessis, said he may not come to court on Wednesday because of the big screen.

He did not want to highlight for the record why he would not come to court. However, media reports indicate that Du Plessis and his family had been threatened since the start of the case.

Afrikaner interest group AfriForum has taken Malema to court, contending that his singing of the struggle song constitutes hate speech.

Du Plessis told the Equality Court, sitting at the High Court in Johannesburg, that the song kept him awake at night.

Meanwhile, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe took the stand for the first time on Tuesday. He said the intention of the song was to inspire and mobilise people.

Mantashe is among the ANC members giving testimony in the case.

Poet and ANC veteran Wally Serote, and Science and Technology deputy minister Derek Hanekom previously testified.

Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, and Malema are also expected to take the stand.

Song not linked to any farm killings

Mantashe said liberation songs had no copyright and, because of this, any other liberation movement, such as the Pan Africanist Congress, could sing them too.

The case has been set for 10 days, and entered its second week on Monday.

Earlier, Serote told the court the victims of apartheid had sought noble ways of healing the country.

Serote said that if Malema were to get out of hand, the "elders" of the ANC would sit him down and talk to him.

He said Malema had a right to act like a youth, because he was a youth.

Serote agreed with the view, expressed in court by Hanekom last week, that a "national dialogue" on the matter was needed.

Serote also believed the song was not linked to any farm killings.

The ANC has sought to protect the song, as it is part of history and their heritage.

ANC stalwart Winnie Madikezela-Mandela has called the court "illiterate".

She told supporters outside court that the illiterate court needed to be educated.

- SAPA

Read more on:    tau-sa  |  ancyl  |  wally serote  |  winnie madikizela-mandela  |  julius malema  |  derek hanekom  |  collins chabane  |  gwede mantashe  |  johannesburg  |  hate speech
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