Police warn against hate speech in ANC feud
South African police warned on Monday that they would take action against hate speech by politicians, who are making increasingly tough remarks about a planned breakaway from the ruling party.
“When you talk like you want to wage a war against other people, that is against the law. So, definitely actions will be taken against such people,” South African Police Service spokesperson Phuti Setati said in an interview on South African public radio.
“Appropriate action is an action that will definitely see to it that hate speech ... is not committed,” Setati said.
The warning came as leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) have hurled insults at dissidents—among them Mosiuoa Lekota, the former defence minister—who plan to hold a convention on Sunday to lay the groundwork for a breakaway group.
The head of the ANC Women’s League, Angie Motskekga described the dissidents as “dogs”, while ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema called them “political imbeciles” and their leader a “monster”.
ANC activists have also staged protests over the last week to disrupt rallies by the dissidents, who have been campaigning across the country to drum up support for their movement ahead of elections next year.
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe has condemned such actions by its supporters, saying they dented the image of the country.
“When you create chaos and anarchy deliberately, you undermine the confidence of the people of South Africa. You also dent the image of the country as a stable, growing democracy,” he said on the radio.
“We are going into elections. If you whip up emotions, you could very well lay down the foundation for a number of problems. I would really appeal to all those concerned to calm down and act in a responsible manner.”
The dissidents plan to gather about 4 000 supporters on Sunday in Bloemfontein, where they will plan a new political party they expect to unveil on December 16, said the group’s spokesperson Nicolus Mjempu. - AFP