'Malema strikes deal over hate speech'
"The ANC and Julius Malema agree to avoid the use of hurtful words in song"
The ANC, Julius Malema, AfriForum and TAU SA have signed a settlement agreement in the Malema hate speech case, "in which the ANC and Malema acknowledge that certain words in certain struggle songs can be experienced as hurtful by minority communities".
This is according to a statement by AfriForum, which said they undertook to encourage their supporters to refrain from hurtful actions.
Tomorrow (1 November) the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will be approached to make the settlement agreement a court order.
According to Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, the organisation is happy with the agreement that was reached. "From the outset AfriForum’s actions were aimed at preventing hurtful songs from being sung about Afrikaners. This agreement, in which the ANC commits itself in a court order to avoid the use of hurtful words in songs, is exactly what AfriForum hoped to achieve."
He said the agreement was of historical significance, "since it is the first time since 1994 that the ANC and institutions from a minority community have entered into a written political agreement about matters that closely affect minorities".
The agreement includes, among other things, that the:
ANC and Malema recognise that certain words in certain struggle songs may be experienced as hurtful by members of minority communities;
ANC and Malema commit to counselling and encouraging their respective leadership and supporters to act with restraint to avoid the experience of such hurt;
Parties agree that it is crucial to mutually recognise and respect the right of all communities to celebrate and protect their cultural heritage and freedom; and
The parties commit to a continued formal dialogue between leaders of the ANC and leaders of AfriForum, TAU SA and other interested parties to promote mutual understanding of their respective cultural heritages and aspirations.
Sapa reports that the ANC today announced it has dropped its appeal against a court order that effectively bans signing of the song “Shoot the Boer”.
ANC lawyer Leslie Mkhabela said the agreement on the song “Dubula Ibhunu” was signed by the party, civil rights group Afriforum, and agricultural union Tau SA on Tuesday night.
He said the agreement reads: "The parties have agreed that Afriforum and Tau SA will abandon the Equality Court order, and the ANC and [former ANC Youth League president Julius] Malema agree to abandon the appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal".
“The parties agree that the mediation agreement... shall be made an order of court by the Supreme Court of Appeal.”
The court had been scheduled to hear the ANC’s appeal tomorrow (Thursday).
In September last year, the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting as the Equality Court, convicted Malema of hate speech after an action brought by Afriforum.
Judge Colin Lamont held the words undermined people’s dignity and were discriminatory and harmful.
Malema lost an application in November for leave to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court against the hate speech ruling. He filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal in December. Lamont granted him leave to appeal.
African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said Malema was not available to attend the signing of the agreement because he was writing exams.
Mantashe was mandated to sign on his behalf.