The African National Congress and its youth league president Julius Malema want Afriforum to explain who they regard as victims of hate speech due to Malema singing the lyrics “shoot the boer”.
“Hopefully we will show that not even one person they purport to act for will perceive it as hate speech,” advocate Vincent Maleka said in the Equality Court in Johannesburg on Monday.
This was during the opening argument for Afriforum by advocate Martin Brassey who said that a precedent set in Canadian law may mean that it is not constitutionally possible to force someone to apologise.
They have therefore dropped the request that Malema apologise for singing the lyrics.
Afriforum’s request includes asking the court to order him to pay a R50 000 fine.
But the song remains the same
Lobby group Afriforum want the lyrics of a song Malema sang prohibited.
They said “shoot the boer” was harmful to Afrikaners and farmers.
Malema and the ANC did not agree, saying it is a song referring to colonial and apartheid repression.
The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU SA) and the Association of Lawyers for Afrikaans support Afriforum in the application.
Earlier, Equality Court judge Collin Lamont ruled that the case may broadcast live.
Lamont said if any of the witnesses showed discomfort their lawyers could immediately ask that the broadcast stop.
Judge Lamont said it was important the society witnessed the proceedings and judged the conduct of the lawyers and himself
“I think it is important that society sees what happens.”
Meanwhile, in the corridor there was friendly banter between Malema and a few of those opposed to the lyics.
“Mr Malema, I have seen you on television, it is a pleasure to meet you,” said TAU SA advocate Roelof du Plessis.
When Afriforum employee Cornelius Jansen van Rensburg exchanged a few words, someone in Malema’s circle joked: “When are you coming to join us?”
Jansen van Rensburg laughed and said he was apolitical.
Four men in black suits stood guard near Malema’s group — but the youth league said the government was not paying for the bodyguards.
“It’s none of your business who is paying for it, but it is not government,” said league spokesman Floyd Shivambu outside court during a recess.
The guards stood out in their black suits, white shirts, red ties and sunglasses, with M14 assault rifles pointing at the ground.
Earlier ANC Women’s League veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela made a silent entrance and sat next to Malema in court.
“It is just for crowd control — you saw what happened outside,” Shivambu said after Malema and Madikizela-Mandela drew a crowd down Pritchard Street as they returned from lunch.
One of the bodyguards said they were there for both of the high profile politicians.