The South African Human Rights Commission (HRC) will appeal after AfriForum was successful in its court application to review the HRC’s decision at the time that Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, did not amount to hate speech.
Wisani Baloyi, spokesperson for the HRC, confirmed on Friday that the commission had instructed its legal team to submit an application for leave to appeal.
However, Baloyi has made it clear that the HRC is not going to make any further comments regarding the application for leave to appeal at this stage.
This planned application follows after the Johannesburg High Court ruled on Friday that the HRC’s finding in 2019 – that Malema did not commit hate speech during a gathering in 2016 – should be set aside.
At the time, Malema said on this occasion, among other things: “We are not calling for the slaughtering of white people, at least for now.”
AfriForum reported Malema to the HRC and said that this statement incites violence against white people and amounts to hate speech.
However, the HRC said in its judgment at the time that the definition of “incitement” and “hate speech” must be kept in mind and the utterance must be viewed in context.
However, Judge Roland Sutherland has now found that the HRC does not have binding powers to make orders or findings.