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AfriForum Urges Judge's Recusal from 'Kill the Boer' Case

Published September 25, 2023
9 months ago

In light of their ongoing battle against the EFF's controversial chant, 'Kill the Boer,' South African civil rights organisation AfriForum has made an official appeal for the recusal of Justice of Appeals Raylene Keightley of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Ernst van Zyl, head of public relations at AfriForum, stated that the application was essential to uphold the integrity of the judiciary system. The existence of perceived bias, as AfriForum alleges in the case of Judge Keightley, runs the potential risk of diminishing trust in critical legal institutions.

He further clarified, "A judge who respects the integrity of our legal system must act with prudence and step down from cases where potential conflicts of interest or apparent bias exists".

This request was initiated due to the Registrar of SCA advising the legal team of AfriForum that he had asked Judge Keightley to temporarily withhold her response to their allegations until an official application to the court had been filed.

Van Zyl added that the panel assigned to decide on AfriForum's appeal against Julius Malema and the EFF's 'Kill the Boer' chant needs to carefully consider the official application for Judge Keightley's recusal.

Last August, the Equality Court ruled that the chant 'Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer,' shouted by EFF supporters in Senekal, Free State in October 2020, was not hate speech. This ruling fuelled the ongoing legal battle between AfriForum and the EFF.

The EFF spokesperson, Sinawo Tambo, however, criticised AfriForum's recusal request, calling it a waste of the judiciary's time and a fundraising strategy for "racist right-wingers".

He pointed out that the request was triggered by statements Judge Keightley made five years ago and questioned why the organisation had not raised an issue earlier. Tambo was referring to Keightley's previous expressed dissatisfaction with AfriForum during a 2018 court case.

Tambo also pointed out that the Judge granted AfriForum the permission to appeal at the same hearing they are now alleging bias.

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