Gordhan vs Malema hate speech case moves to High Court

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has hauled EFF leaders to High Court for hate speech
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has hauled EFF leaders to High Court for hate speech
Image: ALON SKUY

The hate speech case between public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan and EFF leaders Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu has been moved to the South Gauteng high court.

Magistrate Nishani Beharie granted the application to move the matter to the high court on Monday as the EFF wants to challenge the constitutionality of the section 10 of the Equality Act which deals with hate speech.The matter was heard in the Equality Court in Johannesburg.

“The magistrate's court lacks the jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality of the legislation. It is the view of this court that it would be elevating from the above substance if it were to refuse the application purely on a minute procedural ground when the are larger issues to be determined,” said Beharie in her ruling.

The EFF initiated the application for the matter to be moved to the high court on behalf of Malema and Shivambu. This was meant to allow the EFF leaders to challenge section 10 of the equality act that deals with hate speech. The application was not opposed by the other parties.

In November last year, Gordhan laid criminal charges against Malema and Shivambu after Malema launched a scathing attack on him outside the venue of the state capture inquiry.

Malema claimed Gordhan benefited from the looting of government. He also described him as a "dog of white monopoly capital".

Gordhan wants the EFF leader charged with crimen injuria, incitement of public violence and defamation. Gordhan said he regarded the utterances and public statements by Malema and Shivambu to constitute crimen injuria in that they had unlawfully and intentionally violated his dignity and privacy, personally and as a public official.

He said the statements were intended to be hurtful, incite harm and promote hatred, and thus constituted hate speech, as contemplated by the act.

The date for the matter in the high court is yet to be determined.

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