Thousands back Stop Malema campaign
Johannesburg - A "Stop Malema" campaign has gained the support of 44 000 people ahead of the ANC Youth League leader's hate speech case on Wednesday, civil rights group AfriForum said.
"The campaign is aimed at raising as much public support as possible in the run-up to AfriForum's hate speech case against Julius Malema," the organisation's chief executive Kallie Kriel said in a statement on Tuesday.
It had garnered support from webpages, social networking site Facebook, and cellphone programs, he claimed.
"It confirms that the public are tired of Malema's polarising statements."
The case was expected to get underway in the Equality Court, in the South Gauteng High Court, on Wednesday. A high court judge was expected to preside over the matter.
AfriForum was seeking an interdict prohibiting Malema from making "inciting" statements that promoted hostility towards any ethnic group.
"We are determined to see to it that Malema is called to order," said Kriel.
The organisation said it would request the Equality Court to grant a judgment by default because Malema had failed to submit pleas in the case.
If the court granted the request, it may consider a ruling within a few days or weeks, he said.
The case relates to Malema's repeated use of the "shoot the boer" slogan.
The phrase was popularised by former ANCYL president Peter Mokaba at a memorial rally for slain anti-apartheid activist and SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani in Cape Town in 1993, months before South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994.
The hearing about the singing of the words "dubul' ibhunu" was moved to the South Gauteng High Court following an agreement between both parties last year.
In a separate case, Malema was found guilty of hate speech and harassment by the Equality Court in March last year over comments he made about President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser.