ANC off to Concourt

2011-09-22 12:45

The ANC will seek a direct approach to the Constitutional Court over a hate-speech ruling against ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

The party’s spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said today that it wished to be heard by the highest court in the land on this matter.

Earlier in the day, South Gauteng High Court Judge Colin Lamont ruled Malema and the ANC could approach the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Malema was found guilty last week of hate speech for singing the song “shoot the boer”.

Mthembu said the ANC would file a direct appeal to the Constitutional Court in the interim. If this were granted, the parties would abandon the Supreme Court application, ANC legal representative Muzi Sikhakhane said.

Mthembu said: “Our songs remain our only symbolic monuments and shrines.”

AfriForum, an independent initiative of the Solidarity trade union, which brought the charges against Malema along with farmers’ union TAU-SA, said it was looking forward to defending Lamont’s earlier ruling.

CEO Kallie Kriel expressed confidence that AfriForum would win another court case on the matter.

“In the unlikely event that the Constitutional Court will find that people have the right to call Afrikaners dogs that must be shot, as the lyrics in the song describe, AfriForum will take the case to the UN and other international forums,” he said.

This was possible as South Africa had ratified the UN’s covenant on civil and political rights, which banned hate speech.

“This will allow AfriForum to lay a charge at the UN’s Human Rights Council, should it eventually appear that South Africa’s courts do not protect society against hate speech,” said Kriel.

In granting leave to appeal, Lamont said there was a “reasonable prospect” another court would come to a different conclusion than he did.

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