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27 Oct 2009 13:27
The Democratic Alliance (DA) laid a hate-speech complaint against African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) Free State chairperson Thebe Meeko on Tuesday over comments he reportedly made about University of the Free State vice-chancellor Jonathan Jansen, the party said.
“They are such fundamentally egregious and shocking statements that we are responding to—asking for the death of somebody,” said DA member of Parliament Wilmot James.
The complaint, laid at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court, also includes harassment.
The Times reported that Meeko said Jansen should be “shot and killed because he is a racist”.
“Like President Jacob Zuma when he said the police must meet fire with fire [referring to police shooting armed criminals], the shoot-to-kill approach must also apply to all the racists, including Jansen—because he is a racist,” the Times reported.
The Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court has postponed until February the case against the four students at the centre of the controversy, RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler.
Known as the “Reitz Four”, they face crimen injuria charges for allegedly demeaning a group of black university employees while making a video.
ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said the call was not for Jansen to be shot and killed, but for racism to be shot and killed.
“He never said he must kill a person. I spoke to him.
He was talking about racism,” said Shivambu branding the DA’s charge as “opportunistic”.
James rejected this, saying: “Oh, that’s just nonsense, that’s an illusion.”
ANCYL president Julius Malema is also embroiled in an Equality Court case after comments he made in Cape Town about the woman who laid a charge of rape against Zuma before he was president.
That case returns to court on November 2.
No date has been set yet for the Meeko case, but it is expected to be transferred to the Bloemfontein jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, Xanthea Limberg, the president of the Young Independent Democrats (YID) called on the ANCYL to refrain from trying to “ruin the good arguments the rest of us have come up with for why Professor Jansen’s decision was a mistake”.
Last week, Jansen decided to let two of the students return to campus as part of a programme of racial reconciliation, a move met with resistance from many quarters, including the department of higher education.
“The buffoons in the ANCYL seem to be acting on the kind of idiocy that assures one that if the word ‘kill’ is inserted in even the most idiotic drivel, more people will sit up and take notice,” Limberg said.
The YID believes though that Jansen’s decision shows that students will not be held responsible for their acts.
“While we appreciate the Mandela-esque nature of Jansen’s gesture, this is not 1994 and anyone that continues to display a baas-mentality in this day and age must be punished ruthlessly using every channel open to us,” said Limberg.
“Why is it that black South Africans are always under more pressure to forgive than whites are to show remorse and ask for that forgiveness?”
Comment was not immediately available from Jansen.—Sapa
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