South African Youth Leader Convicted of Hate Speech

Published March 15, 2010

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A court convicted the governing party's youth leader of hate speech Monday after he said the woman who once accused South Africa's president of rape had had a "nice time" because she stayed the night and asked for taxi money.

A gender justice group took ANC Youth League president Julius Malema to the Johannesburg Equality Court after he made the comment to students in January 2009. Jacob Zuma was acquitted of rape in 2006 after he insisted the sex was consensual and went on to become president last year.

Malema has been ordered to make an unconditional public apology within two weeks and pay 50,000 rand ($6,700) to a center for abused women within a month, South Africa media reported.

"Instead of perpetuating rape myths, public figures should make it clear that rape can happen anywhere ... We need to make sure that women who have been raped are not stigmatized and are not made to feel like the crimes against them were their fault," said Mbuyiselo Botha, spokesperson for the Sonke Gender Justice group that took Malema to court.

Malema was not present in court to hear Monday's judgment. Malema's lawyer said that his client will appeal soon.

According to court papers, Malema said: "When a woman didn't enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning. Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money."

Zuma outraged AIDS activists by testifying that he had unprotected, consensual sex with an HIV-positive woman and then took a shower in the belief that it would protect him from the virus.

He also testified that the woman encouraged him with phone messages and flirtatious behavior, and that he believed she had indicated her desire for sex by wearing a knee-length skirt.

After his acquittal, Zuma went on to win leadership of the governing ANC party and became president last year after his party swept elections.

Malema is often in the news for his fiery rhetoric and flashy lifestyle. An opposition leader again accused him of hate speech last week after he led college students in singing the song "Shoot the boere, they are rapists."

Boere translates as farmers in Afrikaans, the language of white South African descendants of early Dutch settlers. Afrikaners and others accused Julius Malema of inciting violence against whites.

Ishmael Mnisi, an ANC spokesman, told The Associated Press that the song challenges those who do not want to see change in a society still divided by race and was not "a call to kill people."

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Summary

Written by <P>NASTASYA TAY, Associated Press writer</P>

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