Hate speech charges laid by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema are expected to be head at the Equality Court sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The charges followed a scathing attack launched on Gordhan outside the venue of the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, while the minister was testifying before the commission in November 2018.
At the time, Malema called Gordhan “corrupt” and “a dog of white monopoly capital” as well as claiming he hated black people.
Gordan wants the EFF leader to donate R150,000 to charity, apologise for the remarks and pay costs.
Malema, meanwhile, will argue that despite his words offending the minister, they do not amount to hate speech and so should not be entertained by the Equality Court.
Malema and the EFF won a victory against Gordhan when an application he brought to have a report by the Inspector General of Intelligence on the so-called Sars “rogue unit” removed from court papers was dismissed by Judge Roland Sutherland.
The party has released a statement welcoming the ruling, calling it a victory for accountability. They then posted the report from the late and controversial Faith Radebe’s term as IGI – on its website, despite the State Security Agency (SSA) confirming it was still classified.
Following the dismissal of the strikeout application, the party argued that this meant they could share the report, as it was now admissible to the court records and therefore in the public domain. The SSA denied this was the case.
Gordhan wanted the report struck from the court records on the grounds that it was irrelevant to his hate speech case against the EFF, as well as because it was not clear whether it had indeed been declassified.
Regardless of whether or not the report was still classified, its contents are contentious, finding that the so-called “rogue unit” was illegal and recommending that Gordhan, as well as Van Loggerenberg and former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay should be investigated and possibly face criminal charges.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, News24 Wire.)