The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes the SAHRC’s finding that EFF leader Julius Malema is guilty of inciting violence and hate speech.

This comes after comments Malema made at the party’s Provincial People’s Assembly in the Western Cape last month, where he attacked the Western Cape branch of the EFF for not taking implicitly lethal revenge against a white individual who was part of the violent clashes that erupted between EFF members and parents outside Brackenfell High School in 2020.

In his speech, Malema instructed his supporters to track down and “attend to” the identifiable “white man”, before stating that they should “never be scared to kill” as “a revolution demands that at some point there must be killing, because the killing is part of a revolutionary act.”

Posters were displayed at the event by EFF members which read: “Honeymoon is over for white people in South Africa” and “A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”

The SAHRC held that Malema’s speech and the posters “prima facie, individually and collectively, constitute incitement of violence, hate speech and possibly other transgressions of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000 (“the PEPUDA”)”.

It is deeply disturbing that Malema – who is the leader of South Africa’s third largest party – continues to behave in a manner that is so irreconcilable with the core values of our Constitution. He has openly declared his support for the violent overthrow of the state – and the killing of fellow South Africans to achieve his revolutionary goals. His comments, inciting racial conflict, are not those of an aberrant individual expressing unacceptable views on social media, but are, presumably, the considered views and policy of his party. As such, they constitute a clear and immediate threat to the peace and stability of South Africa’s young democracy.

The SAHRC has given Malema and the EFF ten days to “appropriately retract and apologise for the prima facie unlawful statements in question and give appropriate undertakings to desist from further promotion of hatred and violence on any ground.” But is this enough – given the manner in which the SAHRC has dealt with other hate speech cases – and the dreadful threat that his statement poses to the lives, peace and freedom of South African citizens?

The FW de Klerk Foundation supports the SAHRC finding against Mr Malema and notes the SAHRC will proceed to the Equality Court for appropriate interim interdictory relief. We will continue to closely monitor any further developments in this regard.