The civil rights organisation AfriForum was successful with its court application in the Johannesburg High Court against the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to review their decision that utterances by Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, did not amount to hate speech.
Judge Roland Sutherland on 14 July 2023, ruled that the SAHRC’s 2019 finding that Malema did not commit hate speech during a 2016 gathering, should be set aside.
The court further found that the SAHRC does not have binding powers to make definitive decisions or findings. AfriForum won this case emphatically with costs.
The utterances by Malema, which are in question here, were made in 2016 during a gathering in Newcastle when he said, among other things: “We are not calling for the slaughtering of white people, at least for now.”
In 2019, AfriForum filed court papers to review the SAHRC’s decision that these utterances are not hate speech.
“This is a double victory for AfriForum over the SAHRC, as our position is that Julius Malema committed clear hate speech in 2016, and that the SAHRC does not have binding powers. Both have now been confirmed by the court,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.
“There is a further success in this great victory, and that is that it also sets the precedent that findings made by the SAHRC may be challenged in court,” concludes Van Zyl.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum