Malema trial ‘most prominent’ since Zuma’s, says AfriForum

2011-04-07 14:20

The hate-speech trial next week of ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema will be the “most prominent political” court case since the acquittal of President Jacob Zuma, civil rights group AfriForum said today.

Malema will be tried in an Equality Court sitting at the Joburg High Court on Monday on a charge of hate speech for repeatedly singing a struggle song with the words “shoot the boer”.

“We hope these proceedings will bring closure to the fears that started burning last year,” said AfriForum legal representative Willie Spies.

Fears arose after the murder of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre’Blanche that farmers were being targeted and opposition parties charged that Malema had contributed to those fears by singing the song.

Spies said it would be interesting to see how the ANC, which has been admitted as a respondent in the case, dealt with it in the run-up to an election when it needed to portray itself as a “party for all people”.

Witnesses for the ANC in the case, which has been set down for two weeks, include Malema, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and ANC national executive members Colins Chabane and Derek Hannekom.

Testimony for Malema and the ANC will also be given by author and Freedom Park chief executive Wally Serote.

AfriForum’s witnesses include senior music lecturer Annemarie Gray and AfriForum deputy chief executive Ernst Roets.

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