Today, AfriForum will call Julius Malema to account in the Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein for his singing of the “Kill the Boer” chant. AfriForum’s position is that this chant is a clear example of hate speech and that it endangers the farmers in South Africa.
The Free Market Foundation’s Rule of Law project will also present submissions in court today as friend of the court (amicus curiae) and will argue, among other things, that the equality court’s ruling portrays Afrikaners as second class citizens.
The case is being heard after AfriForum submitted an appeal application against the equality court’s finding in August last year that this song is not hate speech.
AfriForum will use a legal team, led by the distinguished senior advocate, adv. Jeremy Gauntlett SC, represented.
“We are positive about today’s court case. We have a strong case and a strong legal team,” said Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, on Monday morning.
“It is inconceivable that a South African court can say it is right for someone to have a chant that says ‘Kill the Boer’, when in reality we see people being killed on farms and farmers and their families being tortured.”
RNews reported earlier that Judge Edwin Molahlehi found more than a year ago in the Equality Court in Johannesburg that AfriForum could not provide sufficient evidence that the song causes violence and therefore amounts to hate speech. The court also found that the singing of the song did not incite farm murders of white people.
During the ruling, Molahlehi also argued that the song should not be taken literally.
According to Kriel, this week’s court case will form part of AfriForum’s three-legged strategy to oppose Malema’s extremist, hateful and dangerous rhetoric through legal action, the mobilization and expansion of community security structures and the promotion of mutual recognition and respect between cultural communities.
“It is worrying that there are still people making excuses for the hateful ‘Kill the Boer’ chant. However, it is clear that public opinion is starting to turn drastically against villains like the EFF and their incitement of illegality, hatred and violence. It is encouraging that every decent South African stands with AfriForum in this fight.”
Kriel referred to the attack on Amanda and Tim Platt on 17 August on a farm in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, during which Amanda was stabbed with a spear while the attackers shouted ‘Kill the farmer, kill the farmer’.
“This is unacceptable. That is why we will use our resources to fight it (the chant) all the way to the highest courts.”
Adv. Mark Oppenheimer will make oral presentations on behalf of the Free Market Foundation.
The foundation will argue that the Equality Court ruling in question creates a precedent that politicians are above ordinary citizens and the law.
“The ruling implies that South Africans are not equal before the law, as ordinary citizens face heavy penalties if found guilty of hate speech, but high-ranking politicians, such as Julius Malema, walk away scot-free,” says David Ansara, CEO of the Free Market Foundation.
“The equality court’s ruling undermines the principle of equality before the law. There have been numerous cases in recent years of less prominent individuals being ordered to pay heavy fines or serve prison terms for far less heinous verdicts. It is unfair that a political figure like Malema gets away with only a tap on the fingers, after he deliberately encouraged violence and mass murder.”
The foundation will further argue that Afrikaners are portrayed as second-class citizens, who are not worthy of protection, with the equality court’s finding that AfriForum failed to prove that the “Kill the Boer” song targeted people on any of the listed grounds (such as race or ethnicity mentioned in the Equality Act).
The foundation will also try to prove that the Equality Court’s ruling undermines the fundamental value of non-racialism by implicitly creating different rules based on the race of the perpetrators and the victims.
AfriForum encourages the public to show their support in the fight against Malema’s hate speech at www.stopmalema.co.za.