Julius Malema. Picture: ALON SKUY​
Julius Malema. Picture: ALON SKUY​

EFF leader Julius Malema defamed the Zondo commission’s  evidence leader and head of legal, Paul Pretorius, at his protest outside the inquiry on Tuesday, repeatedly calling him a “bastard”. 

Malema, displaying profound ignorance about inquisitorial instead of an accusatorial or adversarial line of questioning, claimed “this bastard doesn’t ask questions”.

As an anti-apartheid activist, Pretorius asked many probing questions about the apartheid regime. He was head of the National Union of SA Students, which was an outspoken critic of apartheid.

The security police tried to kill Pretorius by tampering with the brakes of his car. When he was a banned person he was not allowed on a university campus, so he did much of his research seated in the Brass Bell restaurant at Kalk Bay.

It is a bitter irony that brave and principled people such as Pretorius risked their lives so that fascists such as Malema can have the “freedom” to spew racist, vitriolic bile.

Alec Wainwright