Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

ANC's Julius Malema guilty of South Africa hate speech

Julius Malema, file image
The judge said Julius Malema should be wary of what he says

A South African judge has convicted ANC official Julius Malema of hate speech for his comments about the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape.

The Equality Court judge ordered Mr Malema to make an unconditional apology and pay 50,000 rand ($6,700; £4,500) to a centre for abused women.

The ANC Youth League leader had said the woman must have had a "nice time". Mr Zuma was acquitted of rape.

The youth league said Mr Malema would appeal against the ruling.

Mr Malema, a close ally of Mr Zuma, is a controversial figure known for using colourful insults against anyone who crosses him.

On Jacob Zuma
We are prepared to take up arms and kill for Zuma, we are prepared to die for Zuma
On opposition Democratic Alliance's youth wing
I only debate with serious political youth formations, not a group of the racist Helen Zille's garden boys
On Education Minister Naledi Pandor
Let the minister use that fake accent to address our problems and not behave like a spoilt minister
On Communist Party official Jeremy Cronin
We do not need the permission of white political messiahs to think

He called senior Communist Party official Jeremy Cronin a "white messiah", and was roundly booed at a union conference shortly afterwards.

And he has labelled opposition leader Helen Zille both "racist" and "colonialist".

He recently said he was the victim of a smear campaign after he was accused of living a lavish lifestyle while posing as a champion of the poor.

Referring to the woman who accused Mr Zuma of rape in 2006, he said: "When a woman didn't enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning.

"Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money."

The Sonke Gender Group, which brought the cause to court, said they were not trying to humiliate Mr Malema but rather they intended to send a message to the country.

"There are certain things you can't say, things that go towards demeaning women, that go towards contributing to their pain," said the group's Mbuyiselo Botha.

Magistrate Colleen Collis said she had no doubt that the words constituted hate speech and urged Mr Malema to be careful about his utterances in future.

"Mr Malema, being a man of vast political influence, be wary of turning into a man that often speaks but never talks."

Mr Malema also caused outrage last week when he sung an apartheid-era protest song in front of students in Johannesburg which features the lines: "Kill the Boer, kill the farmer."

His critics have suggested he should be charged with hate speech over the song.

But ANC officials have rallied behind Mr Malema, saying the song is symbolic of the anti-apartheid struggle.

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