Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Equality Court challenge against Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu was on Monday, transferred to the High Court.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi initiated the application for the matter to be moved to the high court on behalf of Malema and Shivambu to allow the EFF leaders to challenge Section 10 of the Equality Act that deals with hate speech. Ngcukaitobi’s application was not opposed.
In November last year, Gordhan laid criminal charges against Malema and Shivambu after Malema launched a scathing attack on him outside the venue of the State capture inquiry. Malema claimed Gordhan benefited from the looting of government.
Gordhan wants the EFF leader charged with crimen injuria, incitement of public violence and defamation. Gordhan said he regarded the utterances and public statements by Malema and Shivambu to constitute crimen injuria in that they had unlawfully and intentionally violated his dignity and privacy, personally and as a public official.
He said the statements were intended to be hurtful, incite harm and promote hatred, and thus constituted hate speech, as contemplated by the act.