AfriForum to open case against Nelson Mandela Foundation for 'inciting violence'
AfriForum says it will open an incitement of violence case against the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) for a statement it made on the use of violence in protests.
In a statement commenting on the #BlackLivesMatter protests in the US in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the foundation said the use of violence in protests can be "rational and carefully targeted as part of a strategy to counter structural and other forms of violence against black lives".
"And, of course, it ought always to be so," the foundation continued.
"We need to reckon with the fact that structural and other forms of violence will provoke violence. And we must face the reality that the ravages of Covid-19 will further entrench structural violence unless we fundamentally restructure our societies.
"It is time to apply our minds to this challenge."
According to Ernst Roets, AfriForum's head of policy and action., the statement incites violence.
"AfriForum has instructed its legal team to prepare criminal charges of incitement to violence against the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), under section 18 of the Riotous Assemblies Act , as well as a charge of hate speech in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act ," said Roets.
"This disturbing statement by the NMF is a clear glorification of and incitement to violence. It indicates that the NMF believes it can justify ‘targeted’ acts of violence - depending on who the targets of this violence are - without having to face any consequences.
"Violent threats of this nature have no place in any society, and the fact that an organisation of the NMF’s status can so nonchalantly publish a justification of violent means is very troubling and telling."
AfriForum said it also lodged a complaint of hate speech against the NMF with the Equality Court.
Roets said the organisation viewed the justification and incitement of violence by the NMF as very dangerous and reckless.
"AfriForum will therefore take the necessary steps to ensure justice in this case through proper legal channels. We urge the authorities to treat this case of incitement of violence by the NMF with the serious action that it deserves, to send a strong message about the unacceptability of inciting violence."
Foundation spokesperson Luzuko Koti said they would comment "when the case has been opened".