Judge Roland Sutherland on Thursday said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan failed to prove that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)’s utterances violated the Equality Act and therefore constituted hate speech.
The court dismissed the case against EFF leader Julius Malema with costs.
Gordhan hauled Malema to court after the leader of the red berets called him “a dog of white monopoly capital”.
Sutherland said while the comments were in deeded hateful and aimed at causing harm to Gordhan, they did not classify as hate speech.
“They were not brought within the prohibited grounds set out in the definition of the various grounds in Section 1 of the Act.”
In his utterances, Malema referred to Gordhan as “a dog of white monopoly capital” and told EFF supporters to be “ready for war” against Gordhan.
But the court found this was meant metaphorically.
The EFF’s Godrich Gardee said: “This is actually about Mr [Gordhan], the country and the African people because he is actually there as a white monopoly capital security guard and we will be dealing with that very soon.”
Gordhan’s legal team said they would consider all options available to them.
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