ANC Youth Leader Malema Convicted of Hate Speech

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 8:36 am (UTC-5)
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A South African judge has found the head of the ruling party's youth league guilty of hate speech, for singing a song whose lyrics mean “shoot the white farmer.”

Monday's ruling bans Julius Malema and his supporters from singing the song, entitled “Shoot the Boer.” Judge Collin Lamont said the words of the song are derogatory and hurt South African race relations.

Malema has generated controversy with his insistence on singing the song, which was an anthem of the anti-apartheid movement. His supporters say the song is part of the ruling ANC party's heritage and a symbolic call to battle oppression.

The case against him was brought by Afriform, a group that says it represents South Africa's white minority. The group says the song is a call to violence.

Monday's ruling is separate from disciplinary hearings against Malema by the ANC. Party leaders say Malema has brought the ANC into disrepute by undermining President Jacob Zuma.

The youth league leader is known for his fiery rhetoric and his calls to nationalize the country's mines and redistribute white-owned farmland to poor blacks.

He and Mr. Zuma once were allies but their relationship soured as the president ignored Malema's policy demands.

Malema was not in the Johannesburg courtroom to hear the ruling. After the verdict, a group of his supporters sang the song outside the court in defiance of the judge.