Kenny Kunene 'not apologetic' after Julius Malema approaches Equality Court over cockroach comment

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EFF leader Julius Malema
EFF leader Julius Malema
PHOTO: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo
  • EFF leader Julius Malema has filed papers at the Equality Court to get PA deputy president Kenny Kunene to apologise for calling him a cockroach.
  • In the court papers, Malema said the comment, which was made in a television interview, was deliberate, and not a slip of the tongue.
  • Kunene said he would not apologise and continued directing the word at Malema.

EFF leader Julius Malema has lodged court papers at the Equality Court to get Patriotic Alliance (PA) deputy president Kenny Kunene to apologise for calling him a cockroach, and to withdraw the remark made during a television interview.

Malema's legal team told News24 the papers were served on Tuesday.

In the court papers Malema said Kunene, who had a brief membership with the EFF, deliberately chose the word "cockroach", and that it was not accidental.

He said in the court papers:

It is also not accidental that in his further description of me, and what he suggested I represent and how I should be dealt with, the analogy continues: Mr Kunene compares me to a creature (vermin) that is sub-human and deserves sub-human treatment.

Malema is demanding that Kunene issue an unconditional public apology and retract the statement.

He has argued that the comment should be seen as hate speech as defined by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

READ MORE | Patriotic Alliance's Gayton McKenzie accused of lies, deceit by residents of his former home town

Kunene was interviewed by eNCA at the time of the municipal elections last year to discuss coalitions after the PA emerged as kingmakers in some municipalities, putting them in a position to negotiate for top positions in municipalities.

He said he would "deal" with Malema and threatened to expose him.

"Once I am done, I will then deal with this little frog. Julius is just an irritating cockroach that I must now deal with publicly," Kunene said.

In the court papers, Malema contends that Kunene calling him a cockroach should be seen in the context of the Rwandan genocide, when Hutus took to using the term for Tutsi minorities.

PA founder Kenny Kunene
PA founder Kenny Kunene pictured in 2020.

A fuming Kunene confirmed receiving notice of the application, but was adamant that he would not apologise.

"My standpoint is that Malema has insulted young and old people in the country. Some of them are old enough to be his great-grandparents. I was responding to insults he hurled at me."

Kunene said:

Malema once called [Helen] Zille a cockroach. It is rich coming from him claiming that I insulted him. He behaves like a bully from primary school who bullies everyone, and four years later one pupil slaps him, and he runs to the headmaster.

"He is a sissy boy and a cry baby who misuses the [Equality] court," he said.

"A cockroach has been an irritant my entire childhood. Everyone who irritates him, I refer to him as an irritant.

"He calls us bandits, criminals and that is defamatory. I don't run to courts because I am not a cry baby and a sissy boy. This is politics.

"He insulted elderly women, including Bathabile Dlamini, Naledi Pandor, Nomvula Mokonyane and others. He called Gayton McKenzie a 'pig in the mud'. He also refers to ANC members as witches.

Kunene said:

We understand politics and took his punches. I am not a bandit and criminal. I am an ex-criminal. I am not apologetic and will challenge this sissy boy application of his in court.

"I will deal with him publicly and explain why I left the EFF. I think he tries to gag me from revealing why I left the EFF. I am not afraid of being sued. I am going to deal with this cockroach.

"Which court will he take me to, should I reveal more about the EFF and him? I will bring more Mike Tyson punches that will make him run more to the Equality Court instead of campaigning," Kunene said.

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