Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Gender network welcomes Malema apology

The Sonke Gender Network on Wednesday welcomed ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s apology but expressed concern over the amount of time he took to comply with the Equality Court ruling.

“Mr Malema’s refusal to abide by the precise terms of the ruling represent disregard for the rule of law and create the impression that he believes he is above the law,” the network said in a statement.

The Star newspaper on Thursday reported that Malema apologised to “all women”, particularly President Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser, for his sexist remark, which was the subject of a hate speech case against him.

“I am sorry, sorry and very sorry about that. And commit not to repeat the similar mistake again. Issues of women are sensitive, and once a person says ‘I’m offended’, it doesn’t matter whether you are right or not, you must have the capacity to say sorry,” he said.

“I want to say sorry to the lady and to the Sonke Gender, and I commit to pay them that R50 000 and pay legal fees for that case.”

According to the Star, Malema instructed his attorney on Wednesday to withdraw his appeal against the Equality Court case in which he was found guilty of hate speech and harassment.

The case was brought by the network after Malema told students in 2009 that Zuma’s accuser had had a “nice time” because “those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money”.

Malema also told the daily newspaper he would obey the March 2010 court verdict and pay a R50 000 fine to a centre for abused women, and pay Sonke Gender’s legal fees.

The network also expressed concern over the ANC’s failure to discipline Malema or to get him to comply with the Equality Court ruling.

Sonke deputy director, Desmond Lesejane, said the network was glad that Malema finally decided to comply with the court ruling and urged him to show “a consistent respect” for the country’s constitution.

“Sonke believes the successful, if late, resolution of this case proves that South African leaders can be held accountable for their public statements, and sees this is a positive sign for our democracy. It also reinforces the critical role that civil society can play in protecting human rights.”

On Thursday, the Young Communist League welcomed Malema’s apology and applauded him for “finally realising his wrong judgement”.

“As an organisation, we had always insisted that, while President Zuma was innocent, our support for him must take into account the feelings of hundreds and hundreds of women who are victims of rape and abuse,” said YCL spokesperson Mafika Mndebele. — Sapa

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, you can a full year’s access for just R510. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Eskom will try to avoid blackouts during local government elections

Chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said the ailing state power utility’s staff would be on standby as South Africans cast their votes on 1 November

‘Terribly scary’: Dysfunctional municipalities are a threat to South Africa’s...

The country’s local governments are a drag on investment, a strain on the fiscus and pose a critical sovereign risk

Local elections 2021: A visual guide on what to expect

What are the biggest election issues where you live? M&G explains all

South Africa must approach its energy transition pragmatically

A sensible climate policy must balance the imperative of decarbonisation, socioeconomic policy and security of supply considerations
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×