More hate speech claims for Malema

2010-03-15 20:06

Johannesburg - As the Johannesburg Equality Court on Monday found ANC Youth League president Julius Malema guilty of hate speech, it served a second complaint against him and the ANC arising from his singing of "shoot the boers".

Clerk of the court, Richard Maluleke, said the court acknowledged a complaint against Malema by AfriForum Youth and submitted it to the ANC and the youth league on Monday.

Both Malema and the ANC now have ten days in which to respond to the complaint.

On Monday, the Equality Court's Magistrate Colleen Collis found Malema's statement that President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser had a "nice time", was irresponsible, superfluous and demeaning to women.

This was after a complaint by the Sonke Gender Justice Network.

Malema was ordered to apologise unconditionally within two weeks of the judgment and pay R50 000 to People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa), a shelter for abused women.

Pay damages to attack victims

AfriForm Youth complained to the court on Friday, demanding that Malema apologise for singing the struggle song "Ayesaba amagwala" and for the song to be declared hate speech.

The organisation also wants Malema to pay damages to an organisation working with farm attack victims and that the case be referred to the National Director of Public Prosecutions for criminal action to be taken against him.

This followed Malema's singing of the song at the University of Johannesburg's Doornfontein Campus last week.

AfriForm listed the ANC as the second respondent in the case as it defended the singing of the song.

On Sunday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe cautioned against "systematically erasing history", saying the interpretation of the song had been "vulgarised".

"You must interpret what is in the songs and then you must express views on it... but when you interpret the song and you vulgarise the interpretation, as a journalist, you are actually inciting conflict.

"It's an old struggle song, anybody who relegates it into hate speech today to me, I will regard that as a serious attempt to erase our history.

"... If you try to erase the history through courts, that would be unfortunate to the country."

'Whites not singled out'

Mantashe said the struggle song was not singling out whites, but was opposing "the system".

"They are struggle songs that said many things about what, at the time, was regarded as the enemy, we are not going to erase songs from the history of this country.

"One of the things we must do in South Africa if we want to be serious about real reconciliation and nation building is that we must never be over-sensitive about facts of history.

"... We must never be seen to be over-sensitive about white fears at the expense of black aspirations.

"... If we do that we may nurse the white fears and say let's not alienate them and ultimately in the process alienate people who suffered for years and decades because we are not paying attention to their own plight."

Criminal charge

The Freedom Front Plus last week laid a criminal case against Malema at the Brooklyn police station.

Station commander Director Andre Wiese confirmed that a case of intimidation and one of hate speech was opened.

He said the docket was registered but transferred to the Jeppe police station for investigation, as that was the policing area in which the incident took place.

The Afrikaner Bond complained to the SA Human Rights Commission, which could not immediately be reached for confirmation.