ANC, Malema back in trenches to fight song ruling
Former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema will share the bench with the ANC to appeal a high court judgment that found that the controversial Dubul'ibhunu constituted hate speech.
Malema and the ruling party's leaders, who are now on opposing sides after the youth firebrand was given the boot, will sit side by side when he appeals the Johannesburg High Court ruling.
They will be joined by NGO the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution as friends of the court when the Supreme Court of Appeal hears the case in September.
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said it will go to court not to hold Malema's hand, but to defend the struggle heritage.
"Remember that the ANC supported the case on principle, on its merits, not necessarily because of the man [Malema], but because that we have a right to defend our heritage. The ANC hasn't changed its position in that matter.
"It is attacking the history of our struggle heritage, and that is why we are dealing with it in the manner that we want to deal with it.
"ANC was one of the respondents in that case, and in terms of the appeal, it will be one of the appellants," he said.
When lobby group Afriforum first took Malema to court over the song last year, the ANC brought out its big guns, including secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and national executive committee member Collins Chabane to defend the song.
At the time, in April last year, Malema still enjoyed a healthy relationship with several ANC leaders before the party turned against him and charged him for sowing divisions and bringing it into disrepute.
Malema was expelled this year after appealing an initial suspension and, last week, the ANC's NEC refused to review his case after the youth league petitioned against his ousting.
The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution said the Appeals Court accepted its request to sit as the friends of the court on Tuesday last week .
The Legal Resources Centre would act on its behalf in the case.
The council "believes the Equality Court failed to strike an appropriate balance between Section 10 [right to human dignity] and Section 16 [freedom of expression] of the constitution."
The Johannesburg High Court, sitting as the Equality Court, convicted Malema in September after AfriForum claimed his singing of Dubul'ibhunuconstituted hate speech.
In his ruling, Judge Colin Lamont held that the words undermined the dignity of people and were discriminatory and harmful.
Malema filed notice of appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal in December .
The Freedom of Expression Institute and Section 16 have also applied to be admitted as friends of the court . - Additional reporting by Sapa