Malema denies his comments constitute discrimination

African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema admitted making comments about a woman who laid a rape charge against President Jacob Zuma, but denied they constituted hate speech.

Malema made a brief appearance ahead of his hearing at the Equality Court on Tuesday, but was not present when the hearing began.

“The respondent denies that his conduct constitutes harassment and discrimination, as alleged by the complainant [Sonke Gender Justice Network],” said Malema’s lawyer, Tumi Mokwena.

He told the magistrate that Malema conceded making the comments but that he denied that they formed hate speech.

The hearing then proceeded with Mbuyisela Botha explaining that the network worked to make men aware of how women were vulnerable in a patriarchal society.

The network is claiming R50 000 in damages from Malema to be paid to a group that the court orders.

The network also intends calling sexual-violence expert Lisa Vetten to expand on how it believes Malema’s comments may perpetuate stereotypes on rape. In papers filed, Vetten explained that certain comments made about rape victims or about rape generally may provide excuses for sexual violence, could demean and undermine the dignity of a rape survivor, and could contribute to a culture of silence and normalisation of sexual violence.

In January this year, Malema reportedly told students at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology that President Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser would not have stayed for breakfast if she had not enjoyed the sex.

“Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money. In the morning, that lady requested breakfast and taxi money,” Malema reportedly said.

Zuma was acquitted of the rape charge in May 2006.

Vetten said that Malema had misrepresented the facts on the Zuma matter.
She said the woman had in fact been asked whether she had taxi money and she had abruptly answered no.

The hearing continues.—Sapa

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