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Court finds Kenny Kunene guilty of hate speech, orders him to apologise and retract ‘cockroach’ slur to Malema

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    Nat Quinn


    Firebrand businessman and politician Kenny Kunene will have to apologise to EFF leader Julius Malema for calling him a “cockroach”.

    The high court in Johannesburg has found Patriotic Alliance (PA) deputy president Kunene guilty of hate speech when he also referred to Malema as “a cockroach” and “a little frog” in November 2021.

    The court ordered Kunene to issue an unconditional public apology to Malema which must include a retraction of the statement itself.

    Judge Motsamai Makume said the statement uttered by Kunene when he referred to Malema as “a cockroach”, “little frog” and criminal “are hereby declared to constitute hate speech” as defined by the Equality Act.

    The statement of apology and retraction must be made within 30 days from the date of the order. The order was made on Tuesday.

    The court further interdicted and restrained Kunene from publishing, propagating, advocating or communicating hate speech as defined by the Equality Act.

    Makume directed the registrar of the high court, within 30 days of the judgment, to prepare a dossier of papers filed in the matter together with a copy of the judgment and submit the dossier to the director of public prosecutions, who will have to determine whether the impugned statement warrants institution of criminal proceedings for crimen injuria against Kunene.

    The court ordered Kunene and the PA to pay Malema’s costs.

    ‘Calling Malema a cockroach is not hate speech’: Kenny Kunene refuses to apologise
    “I don’t see how the court will arrive at the conclusion that saying someone is an irritating cockroach is hate speech. He is an irritating …
    POLITICS4 months ago
    Malema took Kunene to court after an interview with eNCA in November 2021. He wanted Kunene to pay R1m for the slurs.

    During a TV interview about coalition negotiations, Kunene threatened to “deal with this little frog” in reference to Malema.

    “Julius is just an irritating cockroach that now I must deal with publicly.”

    He also claimed Malema was a criminal whose crimes he would expose.

    A day later, Malema, through his lawyers, asked Kunene to retract the statements and apologise. He also asked PA leader Gayton McKenzie to distance his party from Kunene’s utterances. No apology or retraction was forthcoming.

    In his answering affidavit, Kunene argued that when he uttered the impugned words it was in reaction to a statement made by Malema two days before when he referred to the PA as a party of “amabhantinti”, which means prisoners.

    “When he was growing (up) he often found his plate of leftover food would be full of cockroaches, which he had to get rid of before continuing to finish his meal.

    “The use of the terms ‘cockroaches’ and ‘frog’ amount to nothing but metaphors and were never intended to mean the complainant was deserving of being treated as vermin.”

    Malema has previously referred to former DA leader Helen Zille as a cockroach. He later withdrew the statement and apologised.

    The court said Malema and former National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, who referred to Malema as a cockroach on a separate occasion and later apologised, withdrew and apologised because they knew what the word “cockroach” meant in South Africa and elsewhere, especially with regard to the Rwandan genocide.


    Court finds Kenny Kunene guilty of hate speech, orders him to apologise and retract ‘cockroach’ slur to Malema (timeslive.co.za)

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