“What is this rainbow nation? It takes us long to get a white girlfriend… I am just giving a warning to white South Africans: They must voluntarily bring back the land, and voluntarily bring back the mineral resources… there will be a moment when these service delivery protestors will invade the land of Mr. Van Tonder and Mr. Van der Merwe and we can no longer be able to guarantee the continued safety of Mr. Van der Merwe…”
“The land question will not be won through romantic acts. We need to an act (sic) as forceful as a war to bring back the land to the majority of South Africans because this land was taken through forceful removal, through violent means and there was no apology from the Afrikaners and from the British colonizers. And we must never suffer under the illusion that now its (sic) democracy we will be able to reclaim the land through peaceful means, through peaceful acts.”
Aan die woord is Ronald Lamola, adjunkpresident van die ANC-jeugliga. Toe ‘n afvaargdiging van AfriForum-jeug hom op 22 Junie oor hierdie en ander uitlatings gaan spreek het en hom versoek het om dit terug te trek, het Lamola geweier.
Op 6 Julie 2012 het AfriForum ‘n klag van haatspraak teen Lamola ingedien by die Noord-Gautengse Hooggeregshof. Lees die volledige klag hieronder, waar AfriForum verduidelik waarom hulle dit as haatspraak beskou en watter bevel hulle van die hof vra.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA
(NORTH GAUTENG PROVINCIAL DIVISION)
SITTING AS AN EQUALITY COURT
In the matter between :
RONALD OZZY LAMOLA
FOUNDING AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF HATE SPEECH COMPLAINT
I the undersigned
ALEX ERNST ROETS
Hereby declare under oath as follows: –
1.1. I am an adult male member of the Complainant and it Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
1.2. I confirm that the contents hereof fall within my own personal knowledge, save where otherwise indicated.
1.3. I am duly authorised by the Complainant to depose to this affidavit on its behalf by virtue of a resolution passed by the Applicant and I attach a copy thereof hereto marked “ER1”.
I depose to this affidavit in support of the Complainant’s complaint against the Respondent in terms of the relief as set out herein.
3.1. The Complainant is AFRIFORUM, a non-profit company, incorporated under the name Afrikaanse Forum vir Burgerregte and trading as AFRIFORUM with its main purpose being the promotion and advocacy of democracy, equality, civil-, human-, minority- and constitutional rights.
3.2. I attach hereto a copy of the Complainant’s Memorandum and Articles marked “ER2”.
3.3. The Complainant’s locus standi to lay this complaint is founded upon the fact that the Complainant seeks, in the public interest, to protect the Constitution and to prevent a potential infringement upon Section 16 of the Constitution as envisaged by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (“PEPUDA”).
3.4. At present the Complainant has môre than 40 000 members and in bringing this complaint it is acting on behalf of its members, and specifically also on behalf of a certain class of persons commonly known as the Afrikaners of South Africa.
3.5. The respondent is Ronald Ozzy Lamola, a major male person practicing as an attorney at Ndobela Lamola and Associates, 260 Florence Ribeiro / Queen Wilhelmina Street, Nieu Muckleneuk, Pretoria and last known residential address at 53 Matsafeni Street, White River, Mpumalanga whose further and fuller particulars are to the first applicant unknown.
3.6. The respondent is also reputed to be the Deputy-President of the African National Congress Youth League (the ‘ANCYL’), a political youth formation under the banner of the African National Congress (the ‘ANC’).
FACTUAL BASIS FOR COMPLAINT
4.1. On or about 5June 2012 during a media conference of the ANCYL, the Respondent uttered the following:
“What is this rainbow nation? It takes us long to get a white girlfriend…I am just giving a warning to white South Africans: They must voluntarily bring back the land, and voluntarily bring back the mineral resources…there will be a moment when these service delivery protestors will invade the land of Mr. Van Tonder and Mr. Van der Merwe and we can no longer be able to guarantee the continued safety of Mr. van der Merwe…”
4.2. I did not attend the media conference personally, but the words uttered by the Respondent were (amongst others) broadcast during the Afrikaans news (E-Nuus) on KykNET at 19:00 on 5 June 2012.
4.3. The words were uttered by the Respondent at a media conference where many different media and broadcasters were present and the Respondent nevertheless uttered the words, whilst he appreciated that extensive media coverage would be given to the utterances.
4.4. From what has been said by the Respondent the following is clear that the Respondent intended to convey the message that –
4.4.1. So called white South Africans are urged to voluntarily surrender their alleged wealth and interests in land and mineral resources;
4.4.2. Particular reference is made to two typical Afrikaner surnames, namely Van Tonder and Van der Merwe, thereby creating a further illusion that Afrikaans speaking white South Africans are the logical and legitimate targets for the anger and aggression of protestors;
4.4.3. Should white South Africans fail or be unwilling to surrender their alleged wealth, service delivery protests would progress towards land invasions;
4.4.4. That violence towards white South Africans was threatened; and accordingly
4.4.5. That the safety of the so-called “Mr. Van der Merwe”, ie the white Afrikaans-speaking person, could no longer be guaranteed.
4.5. The uproar caused by the utterances by the Respondent did not go unnoticed and I am certain that the Respondent took note of it. The reason for my certainty is the fact that the ANCYL, of which the Respondent is the Deputy President issued a statement at 12:52 on 6 June 2012 (attached as “ER3”), trying to contextualize the utterances of the Respondent as follows:
“We reaffirm the statement made by the Deputy President of the Youth League that those who continue to hold land which was illegally and immorally taken away from the indigenous people of South Africa must voluntarily cooperate with the ANC-led government ensure swift and equitable redistribution of such land to the masses of our people. The willing buyer willing seller principle has failed our people. We caution against continuing to prioritise greed at the expense of the majority and once again echo the sentiments of the Deputy President that the ANC or the ANCYL may not be able to stem the tide of impatience with the pace of change from the destitute and landless millions of South Africans.
Such a precautionary note raising the hopeless plight of our people blacks in general and Africans in particular can only be construed as an incitement to violence only by those hell-bent to protect white minority privilege at the expense of the black majority’s expense.”
4.5.1. This statement was merely an effort to contextualize the racially- and ethnically defined, inciting utterances made by the Respondent. It actually emphasized the fact that the Respondent labeled white South Africans in general and Afrikaners in particular by reference to the Van der Merwes and the Van Tonders as those who continue to –
4.5.2. to hold land which was illegally and immorally taken away;
4.5.3. prioritise greed at the expense of the majority; and
4.5.4. be hell-bent to protect white minority privilege at the expense of the black majority’s expense.
4.6. The efforts by the ANCYL to contextualize the utterances by the Respondent as set out as “a precautionary note raising the hopeless plight of our people blacks in general and Africans in particular” were contradicted by the Respondent himself when he made it clear that he was not only a bystander and commentator on the alleged plight of poor people but that he was in actual fact a provocateur and advocate of forceful and non-peaceful means of land acquisition himself.
4.7. On or about 19 June 2012 during a lecture delivered at the Durban University of Technology the Respondent uttered the following:
“The land question will not be won through romantic acts. We need to an act as forceful as a war to bring back the land to the majority of South Africans because this land was taken through forceful removal, through violent means and there was no apology from the Afrikaners and from the British colonizers. And we must never suffer under the illusion that now its democracy we will be able to reclaim the land through peaceful means, through peaceful acts.”
5. On or about 22 June 2012, myself together with a delegation of the youth structures of the Complainant, had a meeting with the ANCYL and the Respondent. The purpose of the meeting was to engage on a number of issues relating to land reform and to discuss frustrations and worries amongst the respective constituencies of the Complainant and the ANCYL and to seek clarity on certain differences between the respective parties.
6. During the meeting we explained to the Respondent that his utterances were offensive and that they caused harm to white people in general and Afrikaners in particular and that his mentioning of Van der Merwes and Van Tonders was understood as a threat to Afrikaners. We requested the Respondent to apologise for the harm that was created by the utterances and undertook that we would withdraw any legal action if the Respondent was willing to apologise for any caused by his utterances.
7. The respondent however refused and accused us of blackmailing him. When we referred in our discussion to the brutality of farm murders he indicated that we were emotional about the issue.
8. We were not successful in our attempts to convince the Respondent that his references to whites in general and Afrikaners by the name of Van der Merwe and Van Tonder, in particular, as the personification of the cause of inequality in society, was harmful and inciteful.
9. We therefore do not have any alternative but to approach the above honourable court to declare that this is indeed the case and to take such action as to prevent the using of racial and ethnical references as metaphors for the economic inequalities in our society.
10. I respectfully submit that the objectionable utterances of the respondent:
10.1. conveyed a message of racial inferiority; and/or
10.2. were directed against a minority group; and/or
10.3. were persecutorial, hateful and degrading.
11. The objectionable utterances of the Respondent engendered a response of humiliation and degradation from the white individuals targeted thereby, including Afrikaners and Afrikaner farm owners, tenants and inhabitants.
12. The derision, hostility and abuse encouraged by the objectionable utterances had a negative impact on the sense of self-worth and acceptance experienced by the targeted individuals and groups, Afrikaners and Afrikaner farm owners, tenants and inhabitants.
13. The objectionable utterances have –
13.1. caused or perpetuated systemic disadvantage to those targeted thereby, including white South Africans, Afrikaners and Afrikaner farm owners, tenants and inhabitants;
13.2. undermined the human dignity of those targeted thereby, inluding Afrikaners and Afrikaner farmers not least; and/or
13.3. adversely affected the equal enjoyment of the rights and freedoms of those targeted thereby, including Afrikaners and Afrikaner farmers.
14. The objectionable utterances published, propagated, advocated and/or communicated words based on ethnic or social origin, culture; language and/or birth that were reasonably construed by the complainant and its members to demonstrate a clear intention to:
14.1. be hurtful to certain ethnic groups, Afrikaners and Afrikaner farmers not least; and/or
14.2. be harmful to, or to incite harm against certain ethnic groups, Afrikaners and Afrikaner farmers not least; and/or
14.3. promote or propagate hatred against certain ethnic groups, Afrikaners and Afrikaner farmers not least, in contravention of s 10(1) of PEPUDA.
15. The respondent has been requested to apologise for the objectionable utterances , but refuses to do so.
16. I therefore pray for an order –
16.1. declaring the utterances of the respondent set out above to be hate speech within the contemplation of s 10(1) of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2 of 2000;
16.2. Interdicting the respondent from inciting, encouraging or promoting hostility towards any ethnic group, Afrikaners and Afrikaner farmers not least, within the contemplation of s 10(1) of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2 of 2000; and
16.3. Costs of suit
16.4. Alternative relief.