Hofmeyr is a relic of history, marooned in the present. Malema is a pickpocket, distracting us with outrageous rhetoric

“I have never called for their [white people’s] killing, at least for now. I can’t guarantee the future.” That charming little innuendo, spoken by Julius Malema in 2018, is hateful. But, according to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), it does not legally qualify as hate speech. I’m sure the SAHRC had its reasons for clearing Malema. Legislation around hate speech, for one thing, remains open to interpretation. Still, let’s imagine for a moment a hypothetical situation, in which a very nasty person sends the SAHRC an e-mail, reading: “I have never called for the bombing for the SAHRC offices, at least for now. I can’t guarantee the future.” I can’t guarantee the future either, but I’d imagine that the good folk at the SAHRC, being adult humans living in an extremely violent society, would see this as a clear and present threat, and evacuate their building in record time. Which is why many South Africans will believe that the SAHRC has joined the queue of fart-catchers crouched b...

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