One of the most influential politicians on the African continent, and particularly in South Africa, Julius Malema, testified today that he might someday call for the slaughtering of white people in South Africa. The civil rights organisation AfriForum’s hate speech case against Malema, the president of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, another leader in his party, and the EFF itself, is currently being heard at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, South Africa.
AfriForum’s complaint regards the chanting of slogans such as “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer”, “shoot to kill” and “kill a man” by Malema and members of the EFF at political rallies. On 17 February 2022, day 8 of the trial, AfriForum’s advocate, Mark Oppenheimer, asked Malema whether he would be prepared to pledge that he would never call for the slaughtering of white people. Malema outright refused to do so and testified that he might call for the slaughtering of whites in the future. The question by Oppenheimer comes after Malema said at a rally in 2016 that he is “not calling for the slaughtering of whites, at least for now”.
Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum says: “The fact that the leader of the third largest party in the country testifies that he may in the future call for the slaughtering of an entire section of society, merely because of the colour of their skin, is incredibly disturbing. This comes especially within the context of an already alarming crisis of farm murders and racially divisive rhetoric by politicians in South Africa. Malema is already known for inciting racial hatred and romanticising violence, which includes calling political opponents ‘cockroaches’ and saying that ‘all white people are criminals and should be treated at such’.”
“Now the important thing that needs to happen is for voices both in South Africa and abroad, to emphatically condemn Mr Malema and to support those who wish to promote peaceful coexistence in South Africa. This is especially important, given the important role that the international community has played in South Africa in the past,” Roets concludes.
AfriForum will soon launch an intensified international campaign for the protection of minority communities and civil rights in South Africa.