At the very sight of the old apartheid flag feelings of anger and resentment, among non-white South Africans, are apparent. Lobby group Afri forum Head of Policy and Action, Ernst Roets, caused a stir in August when he tweeted a picture of the old apartheid flag after a judgement, in court, ruled against the public display of the flag.
He appeared at the South African high court a month later, in Johannesburg, after the Nelson Mandela Foundation had filed for a case of contempt against him. The NMF had argued that Roets was in contempt of court following his apparent tweet of the flag hours after the court had ruled against it.
The verdict was then delivered on whether Roets would face jail time or walk free and the judge ruled in his favour. Roets was relieved about the judgement and maintained that the display of the flag merely represents freedom of expression and a people’s heritage.
“We expected this judgement. We would’ve been very surprised and very concerned if the judge had found that I have to be thrown in jail, as the NMF have argued, for tweeting a picture and asking a question about the picture”, he said.
Not too many citizens took the judgement kindly as they pointed out that the presiding Judge Lamont also ruled in Afri forum’s favour years earlier when Julius Malema’s singing of the provocative song ‘dubula ibhunu’ was outlawed.
A clearly upset twitter user tweeted, ‘Judge Lamont rules for Afri forum again. Lamont is the same judge that found Julius Malema’s singing of kill the farmer as hate speech.’
With the verdict having been handed down the anticipation of the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s response is imminent.