EFF Member of Parliament and former party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could face possible charges of intimidation and interference with court processes over comments he made on social media in response to a post by lobby group AfriForum.
The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday heard calls from AfriForum’s legal representative, advocate Mark Oppenheimer, for the court to rule on whether comments made by Ndlozi three days ago after the lobby group announced on Twitter that its civil case against the EFF would be getting underway were tantamount to intimidation or interference with court processes.
“There was a public response by Mr. Ndlozi after AfriForum announced on Twitter that the case would be set for two weeks. Ndlozi said these dogs are scared, shoot, shoot and added a bomb emoji,” said Oppenheimer.
He went on to add that “there is a concern that the integrity of the court proceedings may be interfered with, and we want to place on record that these proceedings continue without interference”.
Judge Edwin Molahlehi, in a general comment, responded to the concerns raised by AfriForum through its legal representative, saying: “Any citizen of this country is entitled to participate in court proceedings without any interference.”
The judge afforded the EFF’s legal representative, advocate Msondezo Ka-Siboto, the opportunity to consult Ndlozi and establish what he meant by his comments before he could make a ruling on whether they constituted intimidation or interference with legal proceedings.
Ka-Siboto reported that Ndlozi had indicated to him during the tea break that the comments were actually just lyrics to the “Kill the Boer” song. He also indicated that any ruling on the matter at this point could result in a pre-judgment of the matter at hand.
The EFF’s refusal to stop singing the song, and instead merely changing the word “kill” to “kiss” during their events had led to AfriForum bringing a civil claim against EFF leader Julius Malema and Ndlozi.
In late 2020, AfriForum approached the court and accused Malema, Ndlozi, and party members of committing hate speech “by chanting songs and statements that advocate hatred on the grounds of race and ethnicity, and constitute an incitement to cause harm” since 2016.
While ANC Youth League president in 2010, Malema was found guilty of hate speech for singing the song after he was dragged to the same court by the organization.
After Malema appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal, the two parties reached a mediated settlement that would involve “dialogue among leaders and supporters” to promote understanding of their respective heritages.
AfriForum now wants Malema found guilty of being in contempt of court. They also want Ndlozi – who was not part of the 2010 court case owning to the EFF not having been formed at the time – to be found guilty of the incitement of hate speech and incitement to cause arson.
AfriForum has cited a song with the lyrics “Call the fire brigade, burn these Boers”, which Ndlozi sang while in Senekal, Free State, in 2020.
The DA in October 2020 also laid criminal charges against Ndlozi for incitement to arson following his singing of the song.