Following complaints of hate speech against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Commander-In-Chief Julius Malema and Secretary Godrich Gardee, the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has finally ruled on those claims.
This was revealed in a statement issued by the EFF welcoming the findings on the matter earlier on Wednesday, 27 March.
These claims date back to 2016, 2017, and last year. Amongst other complaints against Malema were the singing of the song “Kill the Boer”, as well as comments accusing Indians of ill-treating black people in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Gardee faced one complaint for his tweet where he called Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane a garden boy of the DA.
The SAHRC found that none of these articulations amount to hate speech. “Mr Malema was calling for proper treatment on black people by the Indians,” said SAHRC Chairperson Advocate Bongani Majola.
The Human Rights Commission also explained that while the statement was insulting, it was articulated by a black Member of Parliament (MP) to another black MP, showing power symmetry between the offender and the intended audience.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says they welcome the findings and has lashed on those who made these complaints. “They wanted to suppress legitimate criticism and debate.
“We reiterate that it does not help the country when people try to shut down debates by abusing the resources and time of courts and chapter 9 institutions. We should be focused on confronting these injustices and correcting them instead of crying non-existent hate speech.
“The EFF makes no apology for being robust and naming issues as they are. To racism and white privilege we must always speak the truth and name issues for what they are. The findings of the SAHRC are indeed consistent with superior logic,” Ndlozi said.