Registration of Julius Malema’s political party will give hate speech a platform, says FF+ chairman Pieter Groenewald.
Pretoria - Hate speech, a policy based on racism, and an economic policy of nationalisation clash with the letter and spirit of the Constitution. In the light of this, the Freedom Front Plus has lodged its strong objection with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to the registration of Julius Malema’s political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
A strongly worded letter has been sent to the IEC requesting it decline the application of Malema on constitutional grounds.
Individuals and parties had until the end of last week to object to the registration.
The EFF propagates the nationalisation of land, mines, banks and other assets without compensation and, in particular, on a racial basis. It is unconstitutional.
Malema has already been found guilty in the high court of hate speech by singing Shoot The Boer, which has subsequently been declared to be hate speech.
By singing the song, Malema created racial polarisation and incited emotions against a specific ethnic group, which is unconstitutional. To date, Malema has not shown any remorse.
The FF+ believes he will continue his unconstitutional actions and that he will abuse his party as a vehicle for similar discriminating actions and policy directions. In addition, the word “fighters” is not suitable for a democratic system where political parties compete in elections in an orderly and democratic fashion.
Section 16 of the Electoral Commission Act states clearly that any name or abbreviation which portrays the propagation or incitement of violence or hatred is not acceptable.
We also object to the English abbreviations of the name of the EFF, as it could lead to confusion among the public.
The FF+ has already discovered that there is confusion on, among others, social media networks. The FF+ will in this regard be submitting the necessary proof to the IEC should it be necessary. About the issue of the name, we expect a thorough explanation from the IEC about its decision.
To date, the FF+ is the only party which is opposing the registration of Malema’s party.
We do not doubt for one minute that it is unconstitutional and the IEC will indeed neglect its mandate if the registration of the EFF is approved.
* Pieter Groenewald is the chairman of FF+. This is the text of a statement he issued.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.