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EFF denies contempt of court over song ‘Shoot the Boer’

AfriForum lodged a complaint of hate speech

Siviwe Feketha Political reporter
EFF leader Julius Malema has denied contempt of court over "Shoot the Boer" song.
EFF leader Julius Malema has denied contempt of court over "Shoot the Boer" song.
Image: Alon Skuy

The EFF has disputed accusations by AfriForum that its insistence on singing the anti-apartheid song “Shoot the Boer” was in contempt of court in their ongoing hate speech legal battle.

The party, its leader Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi were on Monday dragged to the Equality Court in Johannesburg by AfriForum, which lodged a complaint of hate speech against them regarding the song.

AfriForum argued that Malema had in 2010 been found guilty of hate speech by the same court for singing the song and was barred from singing it.

Malema, however, appealed the ruling at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) but the appeal court ordered a mediation process after the ANC and AfriForum reached a settlement before the matter was argued orally.

AfriForum has been campaigning against the singing of the song as it said it was inciting violence against white people.

While Malema and the party had changed the lyrics from “Shoot the Boer” to “Kiss the Boer”, AfriForum complained about the use of hands gesturing the use of a firearm.

Representing the EFF, Adv Mfesane Ka-Siboto argued that the EFF could not be held in contempt of court as the 2010 Equality Court order was substituted with the SCA order, which called for the parties to engage in mediation, without issuing an alternative judgment.

He said the initial case won by AfriForum had no bearing on the new charges brought against the EFF in terms of contempt.

“The whole intention of the appeal was to attack the [Equality Court] judgment itself and to an extent that the appellants were not afforded that opportunity, the judgment cannot be held against them. In any event, judgments don’t bind. Orders do. So, for all intents and purposes, we are here as if nothing happened,” Ka-Siboto said.

Adv Mark Oppenheimer for AfriForum said while the EFF had not been not in existence at the time, the agreement in mediation between the ANC and AfriForum did bind Malema individually and that he could be held in contempt of the SCA order.

“It may be that Malema is in contempt of the order and this court has the power to refer the matter to the NPA for investigation as to whether he can be held in contempt of court,” he said.

Judge Edwin Molahlehi said nothing in the pleadings by AfriForum indicated that the EFF or Malema was in contempt of the SCA order.

“It seems to me that in as far as non-compliance to the SCA order, if at all that has happened, there are also other points that need to be pleaded. I did not see anything emerging from your papers that deal with the matter. To then say to this court, at the end of the hearing, ‘we want you to issue an order that says the NPA considers this’, I am not sure,” Molahlehi said.

While Malema was still expected to arrive at the court hearing held at the Johannesburg high court, EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini was present together with other party leaders as EFF supporters chanted outside the court in the party’s red regalia.

There was also a heavy police presence on Pritchard Street and much of the court’s precinct as more supporters were expected to arrive.

AfriForum head of policy Ernst Roets took the stand as the first witness after the court played footage of various EFF gatherings at which Malema, Ndlozi and party members sang the controversial song.

He reiterated that there were farm murders in the country and that he and other AfriForum researchers had over the years been keeping track of them, and that he had also written a book about the issue.

The case continues.

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