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HATE SPEECH

Malema has no problem with being taken to court for not retracting ‘killing is a revolutionary act’

Malema has no problem with being taken to court for not retracting ‘killing is a revolutionary act’
EFF leader Julius Malema during an interview on Newsroom Afrika, 10 November 2022. (Photo: Screenshot)

EFF leader Julius Malema will not retract words found to constitute incitement of violence, hate speech and possibly other transgressions of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000.

Instead, Malema said he is ready to defend his statements in court as he was not given a chance to defend himself. 

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) had given Malema an ultimatum on Wednesday to retract some of the statements he made during the party’s Western Cape Provincial People’s Assembly (PPA) last month. 

The HRC’s statement says it had received various complaints “corroborated by video recordings of the event” relating to statements made by Malema, as well as posters or banners displayed by the EFF at the meeting of the EFF’s PPA. 

During the event, in reference to an incident at the Brackenfell High School last year, and footage of a white person “beating up” an EFF member, Malema questioned why that (white) person had not been located and taken to “an isolated space and attended to … properly”. This was followed by an exhortation to the members that “You must never be scared to kill, a revolution demands that at some point there must be killing, because the killing is part of a revolutionary act”.

WATCH: Malema tells supporters to never be afraid to kill

Malema went on: “Why did [Nelson] Mandela take up a gun … because the revolution had reached a point where there is no longer an alternative but to kill.”

Some of Malema’s comments highlighted by the HRC include:

“Anything that stands in the way of the revolution must be eliminated.”

And: “Revolutionaries, when confronted by that situation, will not think twice.” 

As well as: “Violence can only be ended with violence, not any other necessary means.”

The commission also said it noted posters/banners brandished at the event by EFF members, printed with EFF insignia, with the following messages:

  1. “Honeymoon is over for white people in South Africa”; and
  2. “A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”

In an interview on Newzroom Afrika on Thursday, Malema said his party was never invited to make submissions when the HRC investigated the case. “All I hear is retract the statement,” he said, adding “there is no neutrality and they [the HRC] say there was a display of posters in the Western Cape; those posters are from when the EFF was launched in Marikana.”  

Malema said he would not apologise: “…we have no problem with being taken to court. But that body must be ashamed of itself.” 

The EFF also said it denies the allegations made by the HRC and categorised them “as part of the nefarious attempts to erase the truth of our liberation history and an attempt to limit free speech”.


HRC chairperson Bongani Majola told News24: “It’s clear even to a child” that Malema committed hate speech during his address to supporters last month, saying killing is licensed.

Majola continued:

“… If Trevor Noah, as a comedian, said so-and-so kill that guy, you can see clearly that he is joking. But if a person refers to an incident where some of his people were beaten and said he is unhappy that they were beaten … and that they should not call themselves revolutionaries until they actually do something – you can’t say it’s being taken out of context.”

AfriForum said they are monitoring the latest developments and will ensure that the HRC takes the action it threatens.

“AfriForum considers this development to be only the first step to stop incitement to violence and hate speech by the EFF and Malema. AfriForum cannot allow the political environment to become so radicalised that politicians can openly commit hate speech against minorities without consequences,” said Ernst van Zyl, campaign officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.

“AfriForum welcomes the HRC’s findings, but if their condemnation is not urgently and effectively followed up by action, it does not mean much to help protect minorities.” 


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Malema’s previous cases

Malema is no stranger to the Equality Court. He was found guilty of hate speech in 2010 after he said the woman who accused the then president Jacob Zuma of rape had a “nice time” because she stayed for breakfast and asked for taxi fare.

He was leader of the ANC Youth League at the time and was ordered to make an unconditional public apology and pay R50,000 to a shelter for abused women. 

In 2019, the South African Editors’ Forum lost a case against Malema after he was accused of instigating hate speech against journalists.

Also in 2019, Malema was found not guilty of hate speech for his utterances directed at Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Recently, the EFF leader won a case against AfriForum when it brought an application to declare that the words of the song Kill the Boer constituted hate speech — and to interdict Julius Malema and the EFF from singing the song at any private or public meeting. 

The HRC has been approached for comment, which will be added once received. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    There must be no wavering allowed in applying the full force of the judgement and the full force of the law against Malema; the security and future of our country demands this.

  • Karl Sittlinger says:

    The HRC has been very one sided in the past, given leeway where there should have been none. While I expect nothing to come of this, it is at least slightly positive that even the HRC cannot spin this as some kind of cultural or historical reaction to the past. Maybe Malema may actually face some kind of consequence, but let’s not hold our breath. Its easier to go after a real estate agent that didn’t even call for whole sale murder of a certain race than people that actually influence thousands with violent racist rhetoric on a regular basis. Say what you like, but there is something a bit off here.

    • Sydney Kaye says:

      Maybe he’ll tell the court that in his village such utterances are not regarded as violent but just colloquial greetings. It worked for Mpofu!

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Malema is a danger to this country. The sooner the NPA clarifies his role in the VBS scandal and he ends in jail, the better for SA.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    Yes because he is used to getting away with it. Mini Musselini is out of control and needs a robust judge to put a stop to him.

  • Barbara Mommen says:

    “A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.” cf Rwanda 1994. Utterly devastating to hear. No place for this to become public (or any for that matter) sentiment in our fragile state.

  • Karen G says:

    Malema is a dangerous psychopath – I do not understand his friendship with Mazzotti considering how much Malema hates white people.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    julius will say anything to get attention, no matter how stupid. Let’s hope people are clever enough to see through him.

  • Sven Coles says:

    Malema is a dangerous thug. A loud mouthed danger to our society. Sowing dissent,racism and encouraging violence. With people and sentiment like his we have no chance in SA. SHOCKING!

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    For a person who has legal qualifications and practised law as a prosecutor, it was surprising for Bongani Majola for not to call Malema to explain his comments as he violated the audi rule. For him to make such statements he has violated the rights of Malema to be heard even murderers caught in the act or having confessed to the crime are given an opportunity to explain themselves and he knows that as a former prosecutor. When we dispense with the required due process, we diminish these institutions and their processes. We may have listened to his statements and formulated an opinion, but in law it is not enough because it is required that he explains himself. When institutions descend to legal thuggery, they are no different to those they ought to hold accountable. The Human Rights Commission for failing to follow its procedures, has not covered itself in glory. They ought to have called him and put the complaints regarding his statements to him and ask him to explain himself and if his explanation is not satisfactory then require him to take the remedial action and if he refuses then take him to the Equality Court.
    To seek to have kangaroo courts is not what our Constitution has contemplated as well as the enabling legislation. Bongani Majola has to be censored by the appointed parliament for his unbecoming actions.

  • Dragan KostaKostic says:

    John Battersby: Watching and hearing Malema in London – why he was a hit with UK investors

    Following EFF leader Julius Malema’s visit to London, Alec Hogg caught up with John Battersby to get a better sense of how the UK market reacted to his visit. He started off by asking Battersby what he went over to London to do.
    It was a mixture of building relationships with senior journalists and correspondents over here, many of whom I knew from my journalistic career in South Africa and working for papers abroad. Then it was trying to build relationships with institutional investors. I would accompany the Ministers of Trade & Industry and Finance and sometimes the Deputy President etcetera when they came to do roadshows to present to the biggest institutional investors. I began to get a feel of which buttons one needed to press and how one presented South Africa as a desirable destination for trade, tourism, and investment, which is the role of Brand South Africa.
    biznews com/interviews/2015/12/01/john-battersby-watching-and-hearing-malema-in-london-why-he-was-a-hit-with-uk-investors

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