AfriForum has called for acting Supreme Court of Appeals Judge Raylene Keightley to recuse herself from the ‘Kill the Boer’ case, accusing her of being bias against the non-profit organisation.
AfriForum squared up against the Economic Freedom Fighters in the SCA on Monday.
In October last year, the Equality Court dismissed a hate speech case against EFF leaders Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, ruling that the singing of kill the boer was not hate speech, but was in fact part of the Struggle, it should be allowed to be sung as freedom of speech and in the political arena.
AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel said their legal team had sent a letter to the SCA registrar on Friday requesting Keightley’s recusal as she had apparently lashed out against AfriForum in court in 2018, saying it was unable to move beyond it's “anachronistic” position.
Kriel said Keightley ruled against AfriForum in the Pretoria High Court case regarding Unisa’s decision to scrap Afrikaans as a language of instruction. She granted AfriForum leave to appeal against her ruling, but then apparently went on a rant against the organisation. The ruling was eventually overturned by the SCA and the Constitutional Court.
AfriForum said Keightley apparently said the organisation should consider applying for her recusal in future matters involving them.
“If Keightley, who is currently acting as Judge of Appeal, wanted a permanent appointment in the said court, she would have to appear before the Judicial Service Commission, of which Julius Malema is a member, and be recommended for the position by Malema and other members.
“AfriForum has always had high regard for the Supreme Court of Appeal and its judges, but this kind of conflict of interest and Keightley’s actions pose the danger that ordinary people may lose confidence in the courts,” said Kriel.
Kriel said they were calling on Keightley to follow her conscience and recuse herself from the panel of judges hearing the case, but if she did not, they would formally make an application in court to have her removed.
The organisation said they had reasonable suspicion that Keightley was bias against it.
Meanwhile; the matter of the singing of the song has been a divisive one, with Malema emphatically resisting any public pressure to stop singing the song, saying he would sing it when and where he wanted. He said he won in court and had the right to sing if he so wished.