Outraged calls flood SAHRC

2010-03-12 00:00

THE SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has been inundated with calls from the public complaining about recent outbursts by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

Complainants say the comments about the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Independent Democrats (ID) leaders as well as a song exhorting “shoot the boere, they are rapists” amount to hate speech.

Malema said he doesn’t believe ID leader Patricia de Lille can be married and if she is, then her husband must divorce her and get a beautiful woman in the ANC.

DA leader Helen Zille was not spared the blows as Malema reportedly said she is a satanist who has demolished churches in the Western Cape.

A source at the SAHRC in Cape Town said their telephones are flooded with calls from the people complaining about Malema.

“To date, four official complaints came in after the ‘Kill the boere’ song at the university [of Johannesburg]. South Africans, black and white, are angered by this and we believe such utteran­ces amount to hate speech and incitement of violence.

“As a public figure Malema should not be using that platform for devious purposes,” said the source.

Spokesman for the commission Vincent Moaga said they have received 20 formal complaints country wide.

“Our phones ring non-stop and we assure people that the matter will be dealt with. At the moment we are collating the complaints and once they stop coming in, the necessary steps will be taken,” said Moaga.

The KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) slammed Malema.

Koos Marais of the union’s security desk said Malema’s accusations and comments are disappointing, adding that he believed the country had moved on.

“Such comments and slogans are unfair and irresponsible. This is ironic because recently Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the police will work towards reducing farm murders.

“There’s nothing to substantiate his claims of rape and the very farmers he incites violence against are playing a huge role in helping many HIV/Aids orphans throughout the country,” said Marais.

He said Malema will not gain any­thing by his wild accusations and statements, and invited him to produce evidence and indicate where these incidents occur.

“We fully support the case lodged by AgriSA against his utterances,” Marais said.

The Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) said it condemns inflammatory utterances with the potential of creating racial polarisation in the country.

President of the church Dr Isak Burger said reported statements by Malema have such a potential.

“As a major denomination in SA, we have been working at reconciling the various racial and ethnic groups to create a climate of peaceful co-existence. Malema’s incendiary remarks are designed to fan the flames of racial hatred and promote polarisation,” said Dr Burger in a statement.

He said the church is alarmed that senior members of the ANC have not seen fit to condemn Malema’s tirade and have not acted swiftly enough to discipline him.

Chairman of the Gift of the Givers Dr Imitiaz Sooliman said Malema’s actions are not responsible.

“As a political leader he should­n’t be antagonising people from the opposition.

“He needs to show humility and embrace people from the opposing viewpoints,” he said.

He said, given the country’s past, people are too sensitive for Malema to behave this way.

ANC spokesman Ishmael Mnisi said the party would “engage” with Malema on the statements he made on Tuesday.

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