LUMUMBABWE: EFF host to a misogynist, homophobe in PLO Professor

IN A SPEECH littered with offensive references to ‘men’ and ‘man’ that ignored the substantial role played by African women, both during the struggle against apartheid, and the fight against colonialism, Prof PLO Lumumba gave students a one-sided sermon on African history, that avoided her-story. Outside the largely, empty Sara Baartman hall, EFF martials assaulted several LGBT protesters. This in front of a massive crowd of gatherers from the LGBT community which included students, academic staff and allies, who waved Rainbow flags, and sang songs.

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, appeared embarrassed, as she addressed several news teams covering the event, wearing dark shades and avoiding eye contact. She claimed the organisation was ‘not responsible’ for the views of its guests, even though inside, Lumumba’s speech was being met by loud clapping and even applause by EFF supremo, Julius Malema.

It was Malema who had only months earlier marched on the Ugandan embassy, claiming Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan president was seeking “to use the anti-homosexuality bill against his political opposition”.

Now eager to appear straight, monogamous and even liberal, Malema orchestrated a flipflopping equivocation, joining other EFF staff in trotting out chicanery — what was once the preserve of the traditional far-right. Yes, you heard that right, the liberal “marketplace of ideas”. Malema’s sophistry translates into a disclaimer that the professor’s views are merely ‘his own opinions with which one may agree or disagree’.

Would he be so accommodating if his guest were an outright religious conservative who thinks abortion-on-demand is murder? A white supremacist who believes black persons are inferior?

Trouble with such an expedient and calculated viewpoint, is that anti-hate speech clauses in our Constitution limit speech that is ‘hateful, incitement to violence and propaganda for war’.

The SCA had earlier this month dismissed an EFF application for leave to appeal an interdict , brought , to restrain the party from ‘inciting people to invade private property’. The leader of the red berets however, has escaped several applications brought regarding hate-speech.

The most obvious case being a highly publicised action by Afriforum against various “Kill the Boer” statements. One can only remark that if the boot was on the other foot, would our justice system think differently? There is certainly double-standards at play.

Our country’s enfeebled justice system thus appears to have moved the bar of hate speech, shifting the burden of evidence onto applicants, who are now forced to prove actual harm. The infamous Jon Qwalane case, in which a former Sunday Times columnist was found guilty of homophobic statements by the SAHRC for equating homosexuality with bestiality, was thus overturned on appeal by the SCA in 2021, ‘because nobody died as a result‘.

It is unclear whether the SCA’s obtuse and frankly, outrageous ruling extends to recent statements made by Prof Lumumba, to the effect that LGBT persons should also face the death penalty? Should hate speech, or speech clearly aimed at overthrowing our own democratic system, and the values it purports to uphold, be protected?

Can one really campaign for South Africa to be replaced by Lumumbabwe?

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