Malema unfit to lead - COPE YM

Marius Redelinghuys says hate speech ruling a victory for democracy and the rule of law

Hate Speech Verdict: Malema unfit to lead, has no vision or principles

The Congress of the People Youth Movement welcomes Judge Lamont's guilty verdict in the hate speech case against ANCYL President Julius Malema. The ruling should serve as a stern warning to politicians who believe they are immune to and above the provisions of our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

The ruling today is not only a victory for those who felt threatened by Malema's "harmful and discriminatory" utterances, but is also a victory for the rule of law, our democracy, our constitution, and indeed reaffirms the very essence upon which our post-Apartheid society is founded.

The judge's finding that "Shoot the Boer" undermines the dignity of our fellow Afrikaner South Africans is also a welcome wake up call to political figures who believe they are entitled to trample on the dignity of South African citizens by virtue of office or political affiliation, and we are reminded of ANC and ANCYL affiliates who similarly branded COPE founders "cockroaches", "witches", "snakes" and the like.

The YM also echo Judge Lamont's sentiments that racism can never be justified, and that our long journey towards social and economic transformation is indeed a painful one. However, the route Malema has taken has no formally been found to be contrary to the founding principles of our post-Apartheid constitutional and democratic dispensation.

As the old saying goes, an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind, and our country crippled. Two wrongs do not make a right, and the YM calls on all South Africans, young and old, to rally behind the cause of crafting a united, cohesive and prosperous South Africa through cooperation, mutual respect, dignity and a progressive and alternative vision for our future.

The mere fact that conditions exist in which the most senior ANCYL leader could utter hate speech, arrogantly, defiantly and repeatedly in public, serves as an indictment against the failure of the ruling party to effectively address the social divide created by the Apartheid government.

Although adequately demonstrated in the Johannesburg CBD recently, this ruling further reaffirms the belief of COPE YM that Malema and his ANCYL are not fit to provide South Africa with any form of leadership or vision for a future that is inline with the provisions of both our Constitution and the Freedom Charter.

Statement issued by Marius Redelinghuys, COPE YM National Head of Communications, September 12 2011

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