Malema is a ‘cockroach’, Kunene insists

Kunene said Malema has gotten away with calling others hateful names and has never been sanctioned by the courts.

Joburg MMC for transport and Patriotic Alliance (PA) deputy president Kenny Kunene says he will not desist from calling Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema a cockroach despite despite the Equality Court it was hate speech.

“I stand by those remarks, and that is why I am appealing. Anything that irritates a black person who grew up poor is associated with a cockroach,” Kunene said.

“He is an irritant to me. He irritates me when he calls me lepantiti (Sesotho for convict). It’s an irritant. That’s why I said this cockroach, he is irritating me.”

ALSO READ: Kunene found guilty over ‘cockroach’ slur, must say sorry to Malema


EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said for Kunene to continue referring to Malema as a cockroach was dehumanising. “This is a reflection of someone who has not been properly rehabilitated by the prison system of South Africa,” he said.

“He is adamant he is going to continue spewing hate speech against another human being even though courts are ruling against him. “This shows our prison system failed when it comes to him.”

Kunene said Malema has gotten away with calling others hateful names and has never been sanctioned by the courts. During his days as president of the ANC Youth League, Malema constantly sang (struggle song) Kill the Boer.

Last August, the equality court dismissed, with costs, AfriForum’s complaint against the EFF and Malema for singing Kill the Boer on multiple occasions between 2016 and 2019. Kunene said it was very clear what defined hate speech.

Not hate speech

“There must be a group of people, and that’s how hate speech is defined; you must make a hate speech against a group of people, not an individual. “Julius has said that ‘kill the boer killed the farmer’; the boer is a group of people who are farmers.

The court found it was not hate speech,” Kunene said. “Julius said about Pravin Gordan: ‘Let’s kick the dog Pravin until the owner comes out’ but, because it doesn’t speak to a group of people, the court found it not to be hate speech. I have spoken to a lot of legal minds and it’s very surprising.” Kunene said when he called Malema a cockroach,

it was not as a group, but as an individual. “The law is very clear on hate speech; it has to refer to a group of people. In Julius’ court papers, he said I am saying this because I am from a different tribe, so I am saying this against his tribe,” he said. “So, I was surprised that the judge ruled in his favour, and that’s why we are appealing.

“We are confident that the judge has given us a leave of appeal because the judge now believes somebody might arrive at another conclusion.” Malema last month said he was not worried about Kunene being granted an appeal to the matter as “all I do is win-win”.

NOW READ: ‘Never be scared to kill’: AfriForum reports Malema to SAHRC for ‘inciting’ violence

Read more on these topics

Court hate speech Julius Malema Kenny Kunene