International - POSTED: 2010/03/15 13:35
A court convicted the governing party's youth leader of hate speech Monday after he said the woman who once accused South Africa's president of rape had had a "nice time" because she stayed the night and asked for taxi money.
A gender justice group took African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema to the Johannesburg Equality Court after he made the comment to students in January 2009. Jacob Zuma was acquitted of rape in 2006 after he insisted the sex was consensual and went on to become president last year.
Just hours after the conviction, a court official sent a second round of hate-speech complaints to Malema. These complaints address Malema's decision last week to lead college students in singing a song that calls for the killing of white South African farmers.
The judge who convicted Malema ordered him to make an unconditional public apology within two weeks and pay 50,000 rand ($6,700) to a center for abused women, called People Opposing Women Abuse, within a month, South African media reported.
"Instead of perpetuating rape myths, public figures should make it clear that rape can happen anywhere ... We need to make sure that women who have been raped are not stigmatized and are not made to feel like the crimes against them were their fault," said Mbuyiselo Botha, spokesperson for the Sonke Gender Justice group that took Malema to court.
Malema was not present in court to hear Monday's judgment. Malema's lawyer said his client will appeal soon.