This follows Sonke’s success at the Equality Court yesterday (15 March), when Magistrate Colleen Collis found Malema guilty of hate speech.
Malema told a student gathering in January last year that the woman who had accused President Zuma of rape ‘had a nice time’ and that ‘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’.
Godana, who was imprisoned for five years for ANC activities in the 1980s, said he ‘loved the ANC so dearly’ and was involved in fighting for gender equality to ensure that everyone enjoyed the freedoms won in 1994.
‘When Sonke brought the case against Malema, he accused Sonke of being a Mickey Mouse organisation led by whites, but today we say he is a Goofy’ said Godana.
‘Many of us have been in the trenches long before he was born. The Freedom Charter says South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white; men and women. As long as our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters are not able to walk freely, the political freedom we won in 1994 shall be futile,’ added Godana.
Sonke co-director Rev Bafana Khumalo said his organisation took Malema’s comments to the Equality Court because of ‘the high rate of rape of women’.
‘We don’t have a lot of men standing up in South Africa and holding other men accountable for their comments and treatment of women,’ said Khumalo. ‘Malema is a high profile leader and he should have known better.’
Khumalo said it was particularly fitting that Malema had to make a R50 000 contribution to a shelter for battered women run by People Opposing Women’s Abuse (POWA).
‘POWA is a worthy organisation and its shelter desperately needs the funds,’ said Khumalo.
Meanwhile, Sonke’s Mbuyiselo Botha, who spent a number of hours in court being grilled by Malema’s lawyers, said the ruling shows that ‘we have a solid and strong justice system in South Africa which upholds the values of the Constitution’.
‘This [ruling] makes it clear that our country’s leaders need to be more responsible in their public statements and that civil society can and will hold them accountable,’ said Botha.
An estimated that one in three South African women will be raped in their lifetimes, according to Sonke.
‘Instead of perpetuating rape myths, public figures should make it clear that rape can happen anywhere, and that the rapist could be anyone: a stranger, a friend, a boyfriend, a husband. There are no rules that say a woman who has been raped will behave like this or like that. We need to make sure that women who have been raped are not stigmatised and are not made to feel like the crimes against them were their fault,’ says Botha.
Sonke also thanked legal firm Bowman Gilfillan for providing pro bono legal representation.
Background to the Court Case
22 January 2009
While addressing Cape Peninsula University of Technology students Julius Malema, ANC Youth League president, suggested that the woman who accused ANC president Jacob Zuma of rape had a “nice time” with him and 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.”
28 January 2009
Sonke Gender Justice issued a press statement condemning Malema’s remarks and calls on the ANC leadership to sanction Malema..
Sonke staff member Mbuyiselo Botha takes the Malema matter to the Equality Court and asks the court to force Malema to apologies for the comments he made and that he be stopped from making further comments that “undermine women’s diginity”.
12 May 2009
Malema tells the Cape Times that he was not even aware of the “hate speech” complaint laid against him. “I don’t know about this. Let those people who want publicity go to court because they won’t find me there. I don’t have time for this,” he said.
2 June 2009
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe tries to persuade Botha to drop his Equality Court complaint against Julius Malema.
10 July 2009
Sonke appears in the Johannesburg Equality Court and holds simultaneous demonstrations there and outside the Cape Town High Court. Mbuyiselo Botha s subjected to hours of intense questioning by Malema’s lawyer.
31 August 2009
The Equality Court reconvenes to continue the Malema hearing which Malema has applied to have dismissed. Sonke staff again demonstrated outside the courts in both Johannesburg and Cape Town to demand that leaders be held accountable for their statements and to call on men to take responsibility.
Malema applied to the court to dismiss the case against him, but Judge Collis found that Sonke had proved a prima facie hate speech and harassment case against him
21 September 2009
Malema takes the stand in the Equality court case in defence of his comments. He told Sonke’s lawyer that he had been referring to the judgement in the Zuma rape case but that because he only has a matric level education, he could not quote the judgement verbatim.
15 March 2010
The Equality Court found Julius Malema guilty of hate speech and harassment in the case brought against him by Sonke Gender Justice regarding his comments about rape survivors. He has been ordered to apologise unconditionally within two weeks and to pay R50 000 to a centre for abused women within one month.
2 November 2009
Malema was scheduled to present his defence in the Equality Court. However, his lawyers failed to file their heads of argument on time, and thus the case was postponed to 24November 2009. This will be the final hearing before judgement is handed down
24 November 2009
Closing arguments were made in the Equality Court case against Julius Malema and the Magistrate reserved judgement on the matter, with the date for the ruling to be handed down still to be confirmed.
15 March 2010
The Equality Court finds Julius Malema guilty of hate speech and harassment in the case brought against him by Sonke Gender Justice regarding his comments about rape survivors. He is ordered to apologise unconditionally within two weeks and to pay R50 000 to a centre for abused women within one month.