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South Africa

ANC youth leader Malema found guilty on hate-speech charges

Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

A South African court in Johannesburg has found Julius Malema, the youth wing leader of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress Party, guilty of hate speech for singing an anti-apartheid anthem. 

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Judge Collin Lamont said the song, which includes the lyrics “shoot the white farmer”, was “derogatory and dehumanising”. He added that all citizens are called to treat each other equally in post-apartheid South Africa.

Meanwhile Malema is still fighting against disciplinary charges of bringing the party into disrepute. Hearings on Monday were postponed to allow Malema to hear the judgment in the Johannesburg High Court.

The ANC's national disciplinary panel has dismissed the argument by Malema that it breached the constitution of the ruling party in charging him with sowing divisions within the organisation and bringing it into disrepute.

The charges relate to his advocating regime change in neighbouring Botswana and publicly criticising president Jacob Zuma.

The three-day hearing started on Sunday at an undisclosed venue – to avoid a repeat of Malema supporters running amok outside the party headquarters when he first appeared two weeks ago.

They were postponed on Monday because Malema appears for judgement in his hate-speech trial in the High Court in Johannesburg.

On the eve of the sitting, Malema reportedly told supporters his standoff with the ANC leadership was a war with a guarantee of victory.

He added that next year the ANC will correct itself and elect good leaders – referring to his campaign to prevent president Jacob Zuma winning a second term at the helm.

He faces expulsion or suspension from the party if the disciplinary case goes against him.

 

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