The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) questioned the use of the same legal team to represent both the ANC and Julius Malema in their appeal against the "shoot the boer" song ruling.
A letter by SCA registrar BJ Mashinini to the counsel representing both Malema and the ANC stated judges requested them to consider whether it was "appropriate for the same legal representatives to represent both appellants". This was in "regard to the apparent conflict or disparity of interest between them," the letter said.
The judges sought a response by Tuesday.
It was announced on February 29 by the ANC's national disciplinary committee that Malema was expelled from the ruling party, having been suspended for five years previously.
This was due to "sowing divisions" in the ANC and bringing the party "into disrepute". An urgent application to enforce an order stopping Malema from singing "shoot the boer" was lodged on September 5, lobby group Afriforum said at the time.
"This follows after Malema repeatedly sang the controversial song 'dubula ibhunu' during his public appearances before mine workers," the group's lawyer Willie Spies said in a statement.
He said the former ANC Youth League leader's conduct came amid rising tensions in the gold and platinum mining sector. "In addition, Malema made various utterances attributing the difficulties of mineworkers to whites."
The application was lodged in the South Gauteng High Court. In September last year, the court, sitting at the Equality Court, convicted Malema of hate speech after Afriforum took him to court for singing the song.
Judge Colin Lamont held the words undermined people's dignity and were discriminatory and harmful. Malema lost an application in November for leave to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court against the hate speech ruling. He filed a notice of appeal with the SCA in December. Lamont granted him leave to appeal. The SCA was expected to hear the matter in October. – Sapa