Malema was wearing a bright yellow tee-shirt with the face of Nelson Mandela emblazoned on the front.
I had two immediate reactions as I watched Malema's interaction with the supportive crowd on television.
First, I thought how pathetic it was for a once proud and disciplined movement like the ANC to be represented by the likes of Malema.
His now infamous habit of playing to the crowd is as vacuous as it is dangerous.
More importantly though, I was appalled to hear him sing a song from the anti-apartheid era that contained the line "kill the boer" and to do so in 2010.
His actions amounted to nothing less than inciting racist hatred.
The ANC, true to latest form, disagrees.
ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, has essentially defended Malema for singing a song that is considered part of their liberation history.
Mantashe said in part:
"Those songs are part of our history and we're not going to be forced to erase that history."What utter crap! Mantashe and Malema are both being disingenuous.
The South African Human Rights Commission, a constitutionally commissioned body, ruled in 2003 that the slogan "kill the farmer, kill the boer" amounted to hate speech.
HRC commissioner, Professor Karthy Govender, said in part:
"The slogan 'kill the farmer, kill the boer' as chanted at an ANC youth rally in Kimberly and at (Peter) Mokaba's funeral is hate speech as defined in Section 16 (2) (c) of the Constitution."Govender added that though South Africa was a democracy that supported free speech it was important to note that free speech does not include the right to advocate "hatred" or "harm" against a "group of people".
If the ANC was paying careful attention to the above ruling in 2003 then it would recognize why this most recent incident is also a case of advocating racist hatred.
There simply is no constitutional protection for voicing racist hatred against white farmers, Afrikaners in general, or any other group for that matter.
UPDATE: Just as I was about to publish this post News24 reported that "the Equality Court on Monday found ANC Youth League president Julius Malema guilty of hate speech and harassment."
The ruling out of the Equality Court stems from a charge laid by the Sonke Gender Justice Network after Malema said that the woman who alleged President Zuma raped her enjoyed the encounter.
The Equality Court says Malema must make an 'unconditional public apology within two weeks and pay R50 000 to an organization for abused women within a month'.
I can't wait to hear how the ANC rationalizes this ruling.
Malema will probably add the Equality Court to his list - which includes the South African Revenue Service (SARS) - of racist post-apartheid institutions that is out to get him.