News24

ANCYL leader forced to apologise

2010-06-08 21:42

Cape Town - The chair of the Free State ANC Youth League, Thabo Meeko, has been compelled to acknowledge publicly that utterances made by him concerning the vice chancellor of the University of the Free State, Professor Jonathan Jansen, were wrong and could have been interpreted as hate speech.

Following a pre-hearing consultation about the Equality Court case brought by the Democratic Alliance against Meeko, he will be obliged to make this acknowledgement at a press event with Wilmot James, the DA spokesperson on higher education and Jansen in Bloemfontein on Tuesday next week.

In October last year, the Democratic Alliance laid a complaint of hate speech with the Equality Court as a result of Meeko's public statements that Jansen, "is equally a criminal like these racist young students at that university".

"We agree with the president of the ANC, shoot and kill a criminal and that is what we must do comrades" and that Professor Jansen, "must be removed, and not only him, as well as the university council ... they must leave the University of the Free State".

"We must tell him that we have removed far more bigger people in this country than him. This is not a threat, it is going to happen."

On Monday, James said, an agreement was drafted, according to which, Meeko will publicly admit not only that what he said was wrong but more importantly that his words may have been interpreted as hate speech.

"Through the courts, the DA has forced consequences for this particular ANC Youth League official, who will now be obliged to admit that hate speech has no space in South African society," James said on Tuesday.

"The ANC Youth League now needs to acknowledge this Equality Court verdict, and apologise publicly to Professor Jansen for their official's behaviour."