Civil society bodies lodge hate speech complaints against Maine

Durban – Two civil society organisations have lodged hate speech complaints against ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine over his comments about Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The Durban-based Active Citizens Movement (ACM) and Johannesburg Against Injustice (JAI) said their complaints to the SA Human Rights Commission also included incitement of violence, and violating Gordhan’s constitutional rights to life, dignity and personal security.

"The ACM and JAI strongly believe that such flagrant, unlawful and criminal conduct should not go unchallenged."

Maine’s inflammatory comments would cause polarisation in society and encourage people to solve political differences through violence, they said.

"It is our considered view that Maine’s statements were deliberately crafted to incite violence against the minister and, if left unchecked, could have tragic consequences."

Following Gordhan’s Budget Speech on February 22, Maine accused the minister of being an "impimpi" for white monopoly capital. He told ANCYL delegates at the league's provincial elective conference in Durban how "izimpimpi" were dealt with during the anti-apartheid struggle. Maine questioned who Gordhan was representing.

Pre-1994, izimpimpi were "necklaced" for their betrayal of the struggle. This method of execution involved putting a petrol-soaked tyre over the victim’s head and setting it alight.

The ACM and JAI called on political leaders to ensure their followers behaved in a dignified and disciplined manner.