AfriForum and Malema are in court.
This is your opportunity to fight together with AfriForum in the appeal case against #KillTheBoer.
AfriForum is fighting against the slogan “Kill the Boer.”
This legal battle will continue in the Supreme Court of Appeal on 4 September.

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AfriForum representatives will travel to Geneva, Switzerland to take part in the fifteenth session of the United Nations’ Forum on Minority Issues that takes place between 1 and 2 December. Ernst Roets, AfriForum’s Chief Executive for International Liaison, will do a presentation, in person, on the continued hate speech and discrimination against minorities in South Africa. AfriForum representatives will also submit a report at the offices of the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

This report seeks to document all the new discriminatory legislation, incidents and policies in South Africa and those that have been implemented or proposed, or have occurred since 2020. The report also documents some of the most prominent incidents of hate speech and incitement of violence against minorities by high-profile figures in that same timeframe. AfriForum wrote this report to provide CERD members with a more comprehensive description of the state of human rights in South Africa, particularly how minority communities are targeted through hate speech, incitement to violence and discriminatory legislation.

Human rights commission – Hate speech and incitement to violence

AfriForum submitted a complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission (HRC) regarding the comments made on 16 October 2022 by EFF leader, Julius Malema, at the party’s Western Cape meeting. Malema among other things said: “You must never be scared to kill. A revolution demands that, at some point, there must be killing, because the killing is part of the revolutionary act.” Together with the complaint, AfriForum requested its 300 000 members via the organisation’s website to also send complaints to the HRC.

With reference to this, the HRC found on 8 November that there is satisfactory reason to declare some of the comments of Julius Malema and the EFF as hate speech and incitement to violence. The HRC gave the EFF and Malema ten days to withdraw these statements and to apologise. In case Malema should not adhere to this, the HRC informed Malema in writing that they will take him to court to obtain an interim interdict. Shortly after the MRC’s finding the EFF issued a media statement in which the party declared that they refuse to comply with the HRC’s finding.

AfriForum perceives the HRC’s finding as an important first step to get rid of dangerous and hateful politics by prominent politicians. In its role as the initial complainant, AfriForum will monitor the case.

Hate speech

  1. AfriForum asks Supreme Court of Appeal judge to recuse herself from the “Kill the Boer” case
    In 2023 AfriForum’s legal team lodged a formal request at the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Appeal requesting that judge Raylene Keightley recuse herself from the panel of judges presiding over AfriForum’s appeal against Julius Malema and the EFF’s chanting of the song “Kill the Boer”. AfriForum decided to submit this request after it came to light that acting judge Keightley had expressed strong opinions against AfriForum during a court case in 2018. One such comment suggested that the organisation was unable to move beyond its “anachronistic positions.” During that case Keightley also implied that should she ever preside over any future case which involves AfriForum, the organisation should consider applying for her recusal. AfriForum went to court on 15 February 2024.
  2. SAHRC declares Malema’s “murder is a revolutionary act” statements hate speech
    After AfriForum and thousands of its members submitted complaints to the South African Human Rights Commission (HRC), the civil rights organisation has committed to keeping a close eye on the case to ensure that the EFF leader Julius Malema is dragged before the Equality Court by the HRC, for statements that the HRC has declared as hate speech and incitement to violence. On 8 November 2023 the HRC gave Malema written notice to withdraw the statements within ten days and to issue an apology. In the event of him failing to do so, the HRC would take Malema to the Equality Court to obtain an interim interdict. The case will continue in the Equality Court on 26 February 2024, as Malema failed to issue a public apology.

AfriForum has announced that its appeal against the Equality Court’s finding that the Kill the Boer chant is not hate speech will be heard on 4 September in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. AfriForum made this announcement after Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, sang Kill the Boer again this past weekend during the EFF’s tenth anniversary celebrations.

AfriForum will be appealing the ruling in the “Kill the boer” court case. The Equality Court declared the chant “Kill the boer” not to be hate speech.

This ruling creates a very dangerous precedent. The ruling sends out the disturbing message that the incitement of heinous murders on a certain group – based on their identities – is acceptable and carries no penalty.

AfriForum has already laid the charges in October 2020 after supporters of the EFF had sung “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” outside the Magistrate’s Court in Senekal, where the accused in the murder of the farm manager Brendin Horner had been on trial.

Media statements

Firearm court case

Malema is back in court over his reckless handling of firearms.

After continuous pressure from AfriForum, Malema – leader of the EFF – will once again appear in the Regional Court in East London. AfriForum brought charges against Malema in 2018 after video footage had been published in which it appears that Malema is discharging an assault rifle in public.  

The National Prosecuting Authority is prosecuting Malema for discharging a firearm in a built-up or public area without proper cause, as well as for being in possession of a firearm and ammunition without the applicable licences and authorisation.   

Media statements

Assault court case

The Malema assault case continues.

Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, EFF spokesperson, are appearing in court on charges of allegedly assaulting SAPS Col. Johannes Venter in April 2018. The alleged incident during Winnie Mandela’s funeral was recorded on CCTV and published widely in the media. AfriForum pressured the National Prosecuting Authority into prosecuting Malema and Ndlozi, and has a watching brief in the case.

Media statements


Q: Did AfriForum settle with Malema about the singing of “Kill the Boer”?

A: In 2010 AfriForum charged the then president of the ANC Youth League, Julius Malema, as well as the ANC, of hate speech resulting from the ongoing singing of the chant song “Dubula iBhunu” (“Shoot the Boer”).

The case was heard in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg – sitting as the Equality Court – in 2011 and AfriForum won the case. The court declared the song “Dubula iBhunu” as hate speech. The court order determined that Malema and the ANC could no longer sing this song. At that stage Malema and the ANC said the order was not enforceable and they indicated they were not going to be bothered with it. Malema and the ANC then also appealed the court ruling as well as the court order. It meant that the next step would be the case being heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

In the run-up to the appeal case the Supreme Court of Appeal said the parties first had to sit around the table and have a settlement discussion to determine whether they could reach consensus before the case could be heard. During this settlement discussion – in which Malema participated in his personal capacity and Gwede Mantashe in his capacity as secretary-general of the ANC – Malema and Mantashe both agreed that it would not be in their interest to continue with a fight about the song. They agreed that they would no longer sing this song and any similar songs. This intention was put in writing in the form of a settlement agreement that was made an order of the SCA. The court order that ruled the song to be hate speech is still valid. The High Court order was replaced with the settlement agreement.

How does the initial court order (that is no longer applicable) differ from the eventual settlement (that replaced the court order)?

  1. The court order demanded that Malema and the ANC could no longer sing the song “Dubula iBhunu”. According to the settlement they agreed not to sing it. If they sing the song, they not only commit hate speech, but also contempt of court – which is a crime.
  2. The initial court order was only applicable for the song “Dubula iBhunu”. The settlement included other similar songs, such as “Kill the Boer, Kill the farmer”, “One bullet, one settler”.
  3. According to the settlement Malema and the ANC undertook that they would discourage their followers from singing such songs. It means that Malema should also discourage members of the EFF from singing such songs. If he does not comply, he is committing contempt of court.
  4. The court order was an order of the High Court. The settlement is an order of the Supreme Court of Appeal, which gives it more authority.
  5. According to the settlement, the ANC and Malema agreed not to continue with their appeal, which means the risk is removed that the ruling of the High Court – declaring the song to be hate speech – can be declared invalid.

Q: Why is Gerrie Nel not handling the Malema case?

A: Gerrie Nel is a criminal law expert and not a civil law expert. This is a civil case and not a criminal case. It has been decades since Gerrie last practiced civil law.

Q: Are you not just giving the EFF and Malema a platform with these type of court cases?

A: The EFF is one of the most well-known parties in South Africa and Malema one of the most well-known politicians in the country. They would have had a platform and publicity regardless of whether AfriForum took them to court. If AfriForum did not take them to court, no one else would.

Q: What is the road forward concerning the Malema/EFF hate speech case?

A: AfriForum is currently in the process of applying for leave to appeal. Should it be dismissed, we will approach the Highest Court of Appeal.