The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) shared a video clip on Twitter of what the party describes as an “emotional truth” delivered by their leader, Julius Malema.
In the video, Malema is speaking at a rally and brings up the Marikana massacre which saw 17 striking miners killed by police at two separate locations, placing the blame squarely at the feet of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Cyril Ramaphosa is an enemy of our people. Why? Cyril Ramaphosa presided over the killing of 34 innocent mineworkers in Marikana. He was never charged, he was never arrested,” Malema said.
Ramaphosa’s role in what happened at Marikana was strongly criticised by the Farlam commission of inquiry into the massacre.
READ MORE: Ramaphosa ‘wants to make good’ on Marikana
He was a non-executive director at Lonmin’s platinum mines at the time of the protracted strike which led to the massacre and wrote a series of emails in which he called for stronger action to bring it to an end.
After becoming president, Ramaphosa said he would make things right following accusations that he was partly responsible for the massacre.
“I am determined to play whatever role I can, and in this I am guided by the wishes of the community,” he said in his reply questions, following his maiden state of the nation address.
Malema then advanced the theory that not only did Ramaphosa’s role in Marikana not hurt his rise to the president but even may have helped in making him a “hero” to “enemies of black people”.
“After killing 34 people, he was promoted to deputy president and now president. Why? Because when you kill black people you are a hero of enemies of black people because to them the life of a black person doesn’t matter.
“That’s why [they kill you] like you are nothing. [They kill you because] you’ve stolen a sunflower, [they kill you because] they’ve mistaken you for a monkey. [They kill you because] they’ve mistaken you for a pig”.
READ MORE: Man who killed farm-worker gets six years
“No one gets arrested, no one gets demoted. Why? Because you have killed a lifeless body,” he continued.
Malema seems to be referencing several actual court cases in the last part of the clip, in what appears to be an attempt to find parallels between the Marikana tragedy and these cases.
The “stolen a sunflower” example is likely a reference to the killing of 16-year-old Jonas Mosweu in the Mpumalanga town of Coligny. Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte were found guilty of his murder and sentenced to 18 years and 23 years imprisonment respectively on March 6.
The comment about people being killed after being mistaken for a monkey could refer to several cases.
In 2017, 87-year-old Phelamandla Myeza was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years, after he killed 12-year-old Bongumusa Duma after having apparently mistaken him for a monkey.
Before this, in 2014, a farmer convicted for unlawful handling of a firearm was jailed for six months by the Musina Regional Court in Limpopo. Johannes Fourie shot and injured one of his workers, who he claimed he mistook for a baboon.
In a separate court case a farmer in 2011, Julie Crossberg shot dead his Zimbabwean farm worker. Crossberg also claimed he mistook his target for a baboon.
Finally, “they’ve mistaken you for a pig” comment is likely a reference to Stefan Hepburn, a 39-year-old Pretoria man who was sentenced to six years for killing 23-year-old farm worker Jan Railo in Modimolle, Limpopo, who he allegedly mistook for a warthog.
On Tuesday, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) held a briefing to discuss several accusations of hate speech levelled against Malema, finding that none of the five cases they looked at could legally be considered hate speech.
They did, however, find that Malema’s utterances were “problematic” in a democratic society committed to healing the divisions of the past and establishing a society based on democratic values and fundamental freedoms.
[MUST WATCH]:An emotional truth by CIC @Julius_S_Malema on how Black Lives don't matter, that's why they kill us for a sunflower. That's why they kill us and say they have mistaken us for a Monkey.
We must never forget.
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 27, 2019
(Additional reporting by Amanda Watson, Raeesa Kimmie, Juan Venter, Molaole Montsho, ANA)