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Malema takes Kenny Kunene to court for calling him a “cockroach”

EFF leader Julius Malema demands R1 million from PA deputy president, Kenny Kunene for calling him a cockroach.

EFF leader Julius Malema demands R1 million from PA deputy president, Kenny Kunene for calling him a cockroach.

Published Jan 11, 2022

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DURBAN - The legal showdown is looming between EFF leader Julius Malema and Patriotic Alliance (PA) deputy president Kenny Kunene.

Malema has demanded R1 million compensation from the PA after Kunene called him a “cockroach” during an interview with eNCA’s Thulasizwe Simelane, just after local government elections in November.

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But Kunene hit back, telling the Daily News on Monday that he would never apologise and still stand by his words, saying he was ready to defend his words because Malema was indeed an irritating cockroach.

Through his lawyer, Ian Levitt Attorneys, Malema has filed court papers in the Equality Court in Johannesburg, where he demanded a public apology together with R1 million from the PA, adding that he would donate the money to an organisation of his choice. It was after Kunene, and the PA refused to apologise.

In the court papers which the Daily News has seen, Malema lamented Kunene’s utterances and said they were defamatory and reduced him to a sub-human by calling him a cockroach.

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Kunene said it was interesting that after Malema insulted the young and old, some old enough to be his father and mother and was never taken to court, but he had the guts to run to court whenever the same thing was directed at him.

“Malema behaves like a schoolboy who bullies other kids, but when they slap him, he is the first one to run to the schoolmaster to complain that he was being bullied. Tell him to bring it on. I will never apologise and still stand by words because, to me, he is irritating, like a cockroach. He has insulted us, calling us bandits and criminals, but we are not bandits and criminals. We are ex-criminals. He must stop behaving like a cry baby or sisi boy,” said Kunene.

In a 64-page document that incorporated Malema’s affidavit, he says Kunene’s behaviour reminded him of the Rwanda genocide, where between 800 and one million Tutsi were slaughtered after Hutu ruling party member Leon Mugesera called Tutsis cockroaches that must be exterminated.

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The EFF Commander-in-Chief further said former speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete withdrew and apologised publicly for calling him a cockroach, but Kunene refused to do so.

Mbete reportedly likened Malema to a cockroach after he and his fellow MPs disrupted the State of the Nation Address in 2015 while former president Jacob Zuma was delivering his speech.

Attempts to get hold of Malema were unsuccessful, but Kunene confirmed that he has received court papers.

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