Malema’s hate speech: AfriForum demands answers from SAHRC


Malema’s hate speech: AfriForum demands answers from SAHRC
Malema's hate speech: AfriForum demands answers from SAHRC

The civil rights organisation AfriForum on 10 January 2023, demanded a response from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding the SAHRC’s promise to take EFF leader Julius Malema to court for hate speech – a commitment which does not appear to have materialised.

AfriForum, thousands of its members, as well as members of the public submitted complaints to the SAHRC about statements Malema made at an EFF meeting on 16 October 2022.

The SAHRC on 8 November 2022 gave Malema written notice to retract these statements, which the SAHRC found to be hate speech and incitement to violence, and to apologise. Should Malema have failed to meet these demands, the SAHRC promised to take Malema to the Equality Court to obtain an interim interdict.

In light of Malema and the EFF refusing to apologise and no apparent sign of the SAHRC keeping to their word to take Malema and the EFF to court, AfriForum has demanded in a attorney’s letter that the SAHRC provide written feedback on:

1. Whether Malema has provided the demanded apology? If so, AfriForum requests an electronic copy thereof.

2. Whether the SAHRC has approached the Equality Court for appropriate interim interdict and/or other relief? If so, AfriForum requests electronic copies of all the court papers filed to date.

3. If the SAHRC has not yet approached the Equality Court as it undertook to do, why the SAHRC has not taken any such steps?

4. Whether the SAHRC has taken a final decision whether to approach the Equality Court as it undertook to do?

5. Whether the SAHRC has engaged any of the thousands of individuals who complained about the impugned conduct of Malema? AfriForum has to date not been approached by the SAHRC for any form of such engagement.

“If the Human Rights Commission does not keep its promises, how can those targeted by hate speech or incitement to violence find any assurances in its future pledges? Is Julius Malema above the law? Has he become too high profile for the HRC to take on in court? Does the HRC consider hate speech against certain minority groups less serious than others? Hopefully AfriForum, our members and the broader public will have clear answers soon,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.

AfriForum will keep our members and the public up to date with the latest developments in this fight against hate speech and incitement of violence against minority communities by high profile politicians and political parties.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum