DA submits hate speech complaint against Malema

DA submits hate speech complaint against Malema

EFF Leader Julius Malema in the Pretoria High Court, 23 July 2019. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Malema shared messages targeted against white people branded with the EFF logo on his Twitter account.

In a press statement on Monday, the DA said they had approached the Equality Court to have EFF leader Julius Malema declared guilty of hate speech after he shared quotes from late Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

Over the weekend, Malema had posted a carousel advertisement of such quotes from Mugabe, which was supported by an EFF logo, the DA’s Dr Roy Jankielsohn wrote, and he then listed those quotes that he felt amounted to hate speech.

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“What we hate is not the colour of their skin but the evil that emanates from them,” was one, which Jankielsohn said his party regarded as the publication and distribution of the condonation, advocating of and distribution of hate speech and violence against white South Africans.

The social media site, Twitter, on which the quotes were published, however, apparently found that Malema’s messages did not violate their terms and conditions.

Among the other quotes were:

“Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy,” and “The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.”

Jankielsohn said he had submitted an affidavit to the Equality Court in Bloemfontein with a request that the court consider his request to instruct Malema and the EFF, under whose auspices these statements were made, to individually or jointly call a press conference in which they apologised unconditionally for the damage caused by branding white South African citizens foreigners who should be subjected to violence, that the Equality Court make a declaratory order regarding the carousel displays as being hate speech and that a sanction be imposed on them by the court.

“In my affidavit to the Equality Court in Bloemfontein, I indicate that we regard the carousel advertisement distributed on Twitter and which was supported by an EFF logo as condoning, advocating and distributing hate speech and incitement to commit violence against white people in terms of both the Equality Act and Section 16 of the Constitution. I also regard the language as racist in nature and a deliberate attempt to make white South African citizens a target of contempt in the broader community.”

Jankielsohn argued that is was “common knowledge that genocide against minorities is always preceded by derogatory comments and hate speech against the target group”.

“South Africa is a diverse country of minority ethnic, racial, religious and other groups. This diversity is what makes our country unique and why our national emblems promote ‘unity in diversity’. In a transitional society that is grappling with entrenching the principles of democracy and racial tolerance, the courts have a very important role to play in determining acceptable rules of behaviour and interaction among groups and individuals in South Africa. The responsibility of setting an example to the rest of society falls on the shoulders of all leaders in our communities, especially leaders of political parties.”

(Edited by Charles Cilliers)

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