Malema hate speech case: ‘Remarks deliberate incitement to violence’


The South African Human Rights Commission’s (HRC) hate speech case against Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, began today in the Equality Court in the Western Cape.

This case follows after AfriForum submitted complaints against Malema to the SAMRK in 2022 due to statements he made during the EFF’s provincial meeting in the Western Cape.

Dr. Karien van den Berg, senior lecturer of the Department of English at the North-West University (NWU) and an expert in the field of linguistics and applied linguistics, acted as an expert witness.

Among other things, she testified that Malema’s 2022 statements which were investigated, in fact amounted to hate speech.

Van den Berg further testified that her investigation into Malema’s comments indicates that the reasonable listener would interpret his statements as deliberate and a direct incitement to violence.

Among other things, Malema said: “You must never be afraid to kill, a revolution requires killing at some point, because killing is part of the revolutionary act.”

Ernst van Zyl, head of Public Relations at AfriForum, says that this hate speech case against Malema got off to a good start thanks to an expert witness who does not turn a blind eye to Malema’s deliberate incitement to violence.

“AfriForum will monitor this case and keep our members as well as the public informed of how this case unfolds,” he says.