19 March 2010, 16:24
The African National Congress said on Friday it was concerned about the launching of a campaign against its youth league president Julius Malema by the Freedom Front Plus.
"The campaign is meant to incite the South African populace, particularly the Afrikaner community, against the president of the youth league.
"It poses a danger to the personal safety and security of [Comrade] Malema," ANC spokesman Ishmael Mnisi said in a statement.
"As the ANC, we draw the conclusion that it is meant to incite, instigate and mobilise some people to harm and even lead to the execution of the ANCYL president," he said.
The Freedom Front Plus launched a "Prosecute Malema" campaign on Thursday, according to its parliamentary spokesman Anton Alberts.
The campaign consisted of the gathering of signatures via e-mail and through an activism website where a protest letter could be signed.
These would be presented to President Jacob Zuma to pressurise the ANC into taking disciplinary steps against Malema.
The ANC said: "The Freedom Front Plus's repeated lie that a song sung by the ANC Youth League president on various occasions has led to death of some farmers, is a clear deliberate ploy on their side to mobilise the farming community and their next-of-kin not to hesitate in causing harm to the youth league president.
"It is our view that if the Freedom Front believes in their own lies, they would have approached the law enforcement authorities and reported such.
"Their failure to report this matter is indicative that even the Freedom Front does not believe in what it claims."
The ANC said it would approach the Equality Court over the matter, because it viewed the campaign as indicative of hate speech meant to endanger and pose a threat to the well-being and safety of Malema.
"We have already instructed our lawyers to file papers with the Equality Court on this matter, with immediate effect."
Its concern had to be seen in the light of the assassination of South African Communist Party general secretary and ANC National Executive Committee member Chris Hani by "right-wing elements" in 1993.
About 200 supporters of AfriForum, a human rights organisation, gathered at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, on Friday morning, carrying posters and occasionally chanting: "Stop Malema."
Their placards read: "Stop Malema", "ANC: Kill the Boer... Words can Kill", "Malema has blood on his hands" and "Malema, a champagne sipping racist".
AfriForum has drawn up a list of 1 600 people murdered on South African farms in recent years to show that Malema's recent singing of "kill the boer" could have consequences.
Malema sang it at his birthday celebration in Polokwane and at a student gathering in Johannesburg earlier in March. - Sapa