SA: ANC youth wing leader convicted of hate speech
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 12:26
Johannesburg: The conviction of a youth wing leader of ruling African National Congress of hate speech for singing a controversial anthem by a court has been criticised by the party which termed it as a ban on ANC's anti-apartheid heritage.

Judge Collion Lamont yesterday ruled in the Equality Court here that singing of anti-apartheid struggle song known as "dubula ibhunu," which loosely translate as "shoot the white farmer" and "they are rapists" an indigenous language, constituted hate speech.

"The ANC is appalled at the decision because we think the decision does not appreciate the history of the ANC and the history of the liberation movement," spokesman Keith Khoza said as he indicated that the ANC would consider the judgement before deciding how to proceed on the matter.

By contrast, AfriForum, whose youth wing brought the application against Malema at the Equality Court, said it was extremely happy with the ruling.

The court had said that the songs amount to hate speech against whites and were as divergent and polarised as the content of the song. The judge charged ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema with hate speech while hearing a case filed by the Afrikaner group AfriForum.

AfriForum had argued the words threatened the safety of Afrikaners and farmers.

Violating the judgement, a group of some 100 supporters broke out singing the song outside the court.

Theunis Botha, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, called for the ANC to dismiss Malema, who is facing a separate internal disciplinary hearing for allegedly bringing the ANC into disrepute by among other things threatening to intervene in bringing down the government in neighbouring Botswana.

Jan Bosman, Secretary of another white group, the Afrikanerbond, said in a statement: "The race-card... is now regularly played. The inevitable consequence is that the broad South African society is becoming more race-based and divided."

The South African Communist Party came out in support of Malema with spokesman Malesela Maleka saying the decision in the Equality Court was "regrettable."

Opposition Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, also exclusively white, said the party hoped the judgment would be the first step in getting the country "out of the swamp of hate speech and racism".

"The contrast between the Mandela approach after 1994 and the Malema approach the past year, shouted out for an adjustment," Mulder said.


First Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 12:26

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