Not 30 minutes after ANC Youth League president Julius Malema lost the right to sing 'Dubula iBhunu', a dozen or so of his supporters sang the song outside of the South Gauteng High Court. Only a handful of ANCYL executive committee members deigned to show face at Pritchard Street, and the man of the hour himself wasn't there. By SIPHO HLONGWANE and MABINE SEABE.
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema did not pitch to hear the judge’s ruling in the hate speech case brought against him by the Afrikaans organisation AfriForum. In fact, no senior ANCYL or ANC official was at the South Gauteng High Court to hear Judge Colin Lamont declare that “the singing of the song by Malema constituted hate speech”. The judge ruled that there was no justifiable reason for the singing of the song.
It took quite a while for the news to reach the small crowd outside the court, but once it did, the reaction was predictably angry. The small group of Julius Malema supporters almost immediately began to sing the song with the banned lyrics.
Watch: supporters of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema sing "Dubula iBhunu" outside the South Gauteng High Court, where moments before, Judge Colin Lamont had effectively banned the song. Video: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
Sapa reported that the police said there had been no application for a permit to gather outside the court, and that those who were there must have come of their own volition. However, the police were prepared with a cordoned-off area, and a heavy Johannesburg Metro Police presence, as well as a small riot squad. However, they were never called upon to subdue or control the gathered group. Most of them were curious onlookers anyway.
Malema’s lawyer said that he was awaiting orders as to what to do next, but an appeal is almost certain to follow. We will have to wait for Malema himself to react to the ruling to know where to go from here.
The ANCYL issued a statement soon after the ruling, saying that it was waiting to consult with the relevant people within the ANC before deciding what to do. “The ANC Youth League will study the judgment and consult with the ANC and other fraternal organisations because the songs banned by the judgment are songs of the ANC-led National Liberation Movement,” ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in the statement.
The ruling also puts the ANC in a bit of an awkward position: a struggle song with strong ANC roots, sung by an ANC member, has been banned. However, that ANC member is one who is currently involved in a power tussle with the leadership of the party. Should the ANC choose to appeal the Equality Court’s decision, it will have to do so in a way that does not bolster Malema’s case currently before the ANC’s disciplinary committee. DM
ANCYL members outside the South Gauteng High Court. Photo: Mabine Seabe for iMaverick.
The number of open supporters of Julius Malema was dwarfed by the number of onlookers. Photo: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
The eNews team reports while passers-by look on. Photo: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
Photo: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
A supporter of Julius Malema becomes 'hysterical', more for the benefit of the media than anything else. Photo: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
Julius Malema's supporters singing and dancing passionatel. Photo: Mabine Seabe for iMaverick.
ANCYL members singing "Dubulu ibhunu". Photo: Mabine Seabe for iMaverick.
Photo: Sipho Hlongwane, for iMaverick.
Photo: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
ANCYL members singing struggle songs. Photo: Mabine Seabe for iMaverick.
Willie Spies, legal spokesperson for AfriForum (left), and Kallie Kriel, AfriForum CEO (right), milling around after the Malema judgment. Photo: Mabine Seabe for iMaverick.
AfriForum's Kallie Kriel retreats into the South Gauteng High Court as supporters of Julius Malema sing outside. A small group of people linked to AfriForum loitered outside the courthouse, from behind the safety of the fence and a group of well-armed riot police. Photo: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
AfriForum legal representative Willie Spies talks to the media after the organisation won its case hate speech case against Julius Malema. Photo: Sipho Hlongwane for iMaverick.
Main photo: Two ANCYL members singing "senzeni na?", which is usually sung at funerals. Photo: Mabine Seabe for iMaverick.