Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Malema loves women.

African National Congress Youth League President Julius Malema described himself as a defender of women who would never promote hatred towards them, when he testified in the Equality Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

"I am a defender of women, I am an activist. The latest woman I defended was the golden girl ["our little girl"] who was subject to harassment," he said, referring to athletics gold medallist Caster Semenya who is caught up in a gender verification controversy.

"I don't have a history in my personal life, political life, of promoting hatred to women."

The Sonke Gender Justice Network laid a complaint of hate speech, harassment and unfair discrimination against him following a remark he made at the Cape Peninsula Technikon in January during election campaigning.

'My only parent was my grandmother'
"Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money [how would he know?]. In the morning, that lady requested breakfast and taxi money," he said of President Jacob Zuma's rape accuser.

The network complained this perpetuates rape myths and can affect the lobbying and workshops they do among boys and men to prevent sexual violence.

Malema's lawyer, Tumi Mokwena, succeeded in having the unfair discrimination component dismissed on Monday, but Magistrate Colleen Collis felt there was a prima facie aspect to the hate speech and harassment part of the complaint, so Malema had to testify.

Mokwena had argued that the context of his comments were not taken into account.

Before Malema could begin his long-awaited testimony, supporters of both Malema and the network, who had held parallel protests outside, had to leave the court after the network's lawyer complained about an outburst by one of Malema's supporters.

'We don't apologise easily'
During an adjournment one woman, with home-made earrings bearing Jacob Zuma's image jangling as she spoke, threatened to sue anyone who mentioned Zuma's name in the court. She was seemingly unaware that Malema's defence was that he was making fair comment based on the judgment that acquitted Zuma of rape in 2006.

At one point she leaned on one of the court tables and, facing the network's Mbuyiselo Botha, demanded to know whether he was lodging the complaint for money, referring to the R50 000 the network wanted from Malema and which they intended using to build a women's shelter [the greedy bastards].

Neither Malema nor the league's leadership intervened during the outburst.

When he testified, 28-year-old Malema began by tracing his political history, saying this began around the age of 10. He went on to give an overview of the ANC and its youth league's commitment to gender equality, and that it had held a gender awareness conference this past weekend.

He said his grandmother raised him when his mother died and he was nurtured by women, former ANC Women's League president Winnie Madikizela-Mandela among them. [heh heh]

"My mother passed away... My only parent was my grandmother. So there is no way I would have hatred to women who have contributed so much to my own upbringing.

"I would never engage in an exercise that seeks to undermine or harass women."

He said the comments he made were in reply to a question about Zuma's suitability for president, given the rape case in a pre-election atmosphere of negativity and "de-campaigning".

He had spoken about how the ANC did not tolerate crime.

"Anyone who is found guilty of rape could not lead an ANC structure. And the same included President Jacob Zuma," he said.

"If he was found guilty he was not going to be our candidate."

Referring to his controversial comment, Malema said he had described, in terms of what he could recall from the judgment of Zuma's rape case, that a victim of rape would not behave in a particular way - that she would not stay overnight, nor ask for taxi money.

Earlier Mokwena said the judgment also mentioned that the rape accuser had sent Zuma "kiss SMSes" before the incident.

Alluding to earlier testimony by Lisa Vetten of the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, that the woman neither asked for taxi money nor breakfast, Malema said he had tried his "level best" to interpret and remember what was said during the judgment.

He had reiterated that people needed to respect the judgment and had also said "women who lie and report rape under false pretexts will not advance the struggle against rape".

People had cheered him at the technikon and, he said: "Even when I left I didn't get a sense that I tried to harass..."

Malema said he believed the matter was selectively reported by newspapers.

After the matter was postponed to September 21 for cross examination, Malema made a brief appearance on the back of a bakkie outside the court.

He said any apology to the "reactionary forces" who lodged the complaint would be hard won.

With much of his speech drowned out by excited women [???] passing their cellphone cameras to people standing in front of him to snap a picture, then shrieking and discussing the photo that was handed back, he was heard to say: "We don't apologise easily, we fight." - Sapa

1 Opinion(s):

Doberman said...

Behold the future leader.. what a dunce.