None of the complaints against opposition Economic Freedom Fighters leaders Julius Malema and Godrich Gardee referred to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for a ruling legally constituted hate speech, the SAHRC has said.The statements referred to the commission were made during unrelated and separate occasions between 2016 and 2018, according to the SAHRC on Wednesday.
The complaints against Malema included the singing of the song “Kiss the Boer” and his June 2017 comments on South Africans of Indian origin’s ill-treating and exploiting of black people working for them in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
Boers are white settlers of Dutch descent and the original title of “Kiss the Boer” song is “Kill the Boer”.
The SAHRC found that “objective assessment showed that Mr Malema was calling for the proper treatment of black people by Indians.”
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi welcomed the ruling, saying those who laid complaints against the EFF leaders wanted to suppress legitimate criticism and debate in the country.
“We should be focused on confronting these injustices and correcting them instead of crying over non-existent hate speech,” Ndlozi said.