Defend Truth

Politics

New court to decide if Malema has a potty mouth

New court to decide if Malema has a potty mouth

One court has ruled that Julius Malema engaged in hate speech, and one disciplinary committee has decided he said things detrimental to the ANC. Now a third court, the highest yet, will have to start from scratch in deciding whether he should be punished for his utterances. But this one could take years to resolve.

The Equality Court (which is essentially a dressed-up magistrate’s court) on Thursday referred the latest hate speech complaint against ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema to the High Court.

That means that all the parties involved, so far (Malema, complainant AfriForum, the ANC and the Freedom of Expression Institute among them) will have to start their arguments before a new judge, once a court date is set. And actual hearings will likely not even start for months, as the parties exchange more piles of documents.

At issue is whether Malema engaged in hate speech by using the words “dubula ibhunu” (“shoot the Boer”). That, in turn, means that the court may have to consider whether using those lyrics encouraged farm murders, or should be understood to be a historic reference.

The move to the High Court was a done deal as soon as Malema’s team decided to bring the application. Other courts have made interim decisions to ban the lyrics, and the whole issue of jurisdiction is clouded. If the change of forum had not come now, the High Court would likely have had a review of an eventual Equality Court judgment before it anyway, not least of all because of the importance the ANC places on the issue.

Malema has admitted one instance of shooting off his mouth (in a plea bargain with the ANC disciplinary committee set up to deal with him) and has a guilty verdict against his name from the Equality Court, for implying that the woman who accused Jacob Zuma of rape had consented after the fact. Those will be brought up by AfriForum, especially outside the court, but will not influence the outcome. The precedent set in the process used to arrive at the judgment may come into play, though.

By Phillip de Wet

Read more: Sapa, EWN

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.