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Why Malema, Shivambu Asked for High Court Trial in Gordhan ‘Hate Speech’ Matter


The Equality Court challenge brought by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan against EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, was postponed on Monday.

Gordhan lodged a complaint in the Equality Court against Malema and Shivambu following public utterances they made against him in November last year which he charged contravened section 10 of the Equality Act.

Malema, who was speaking outside the state capture commission hearing in Johannesburg, accused Gordhan of being corrupt and of being a lackey of white monopoly capital, among other slurs.

Gordhan said the statements were intended to be hurtful, incite harm and promote hatred, and thus constituted hate speech, as contemplated by the act.

Counsel for Malema and Shivambu, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, told the equality court on Monday that the pair want the matter to be transferred to the high court for them to challenge section 10 of the Equality Act.

The section deals with words that amount to hate speech.

Magistrate Nishani Beharie postponed the matter to February 11 for her to make a decision on whether to transfer the matter.

Gordhan is seeking an unconditional apology from Malema and Shivambu and R150,000 in damages.

He said if successful, the damages claimed would be donated to a charitable organisation that supported job creation for unemployed youth.

At the time of lodging the complaint, Gordhan described Malema and Shivambu’s utterances as “absolutely nonsensical” and unsubstantiated attacks.

“Enough is enough,” Gordhan said.

“The determined defence of corruption and the corrupt using personal attacks, racism and alleged hate speech is not acceptable and must be challenged,” Gordhan said in a statement after he had laid criminal charges.

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