Malema's 'dog of white monopoly capital' comments against Gordhan not hate speech - Equality Court

2019-10-31 10:14
EFF leader Julius Malema. (Phill Magakoe, Gallo Images, file)

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Phill Magakoe, Gallo Images, file)

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The Equality Court has dismissed Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan's hate speech case against EFF leader Julius Malema with costs.

Gordhan hauled the EFF leader to the Equality courtfollowing a scathing public attack in November last year.

During an address to EFF supporters outside the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in Johannesburg, Malema took aim at Gordhan by referring to him as - among other things - a "dog of white monopoly capital", and told EFF supporters to be "ready for war" against Gordhan, News24 previously reported.

Speaking at the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, where the case was heard, EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee said the party welcomed the judgment.

"We welcome the judgment of the court. We have always said that we have the right to political speech to hold the ruling party accountable. We should be aware what is happening in enterprises, the court has confirmed that we are correct as the EFF to raise the issues.

"It is not about our president and Jamnadas (Gordhan). It’s about Jamnadas and the public who is a security guard of white monopoly capital," Gardee told the media following the quick judgment

Gardee added that EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi would issue a statement later in the day.

Judge Roland Sutherland did not read out his ruling, only handing copies of it to junior counsel for both parties.

READ: 'Fighters, be ready' - Malema gets ready to go to war with Pravin Gordhan

Last Thursday Gordhan's lawyers submitted that Malema's attack on their client met the requirements of hate speech under the Equality Act.

Acting on behalf of the minister, advocate Ngwako Maenetje SC argued that for a remark to be deemed hate speech "it must advocate hatred, second the 'advocacy of hatred' must be based on one of the listed grounds in the Act and third, Section 10 provides three bases on which expression may constitute hate speech, namely where the expression could reasonably be construed to demonstrate a clear intention to be hurtful, harmful or to incite harm or promote or propagate hatred," News24 reported.

Gordhan's counsel tried to highlighcf counsel demonstrated this point by placing a lens over parts of Malema's statement to demonstrate that it constituted hate speech.

ALSO READ: Malema's comments on Gordhan meet requirements of hate speech, Equality Court hears

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, on behalf of Malema, argued in response argued the comments made by the EFF leader did not infringe on any prohibited grounds enshrined in Section 10 of the Equality Act.

"When you look at the text of Malema's statement, can you see a prohibited ground? If you do not, then we submit, with respect, that this is the end of the matter.

"That does not mean that the statements were not offensive, but the statute is for the protection for groups - not an individual," Ngcukaitobi previously argued.

Read more on:    eff  |  julius malema  |  pravin gordhan  |  politics  |  hate speech
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