Malema Ruling: Hrc Has Exasperated Race Relations

In ruling that Julius Malema’s advocacy that white people be “slaughtered” at some future time does not legally qualify as hate speech, the Human Rights Commission has made a mockery of sections 10 and 16 of the constitution.

With reference to human dignity, section 10 states that “everyone” has “the right to have their dignity respected and protected.” By advocating death to white people, Malema flagrantly violated section 10.

Regarding freedom of speech, section 16 (2) (b) declares that freedom of speech “does not extend to incitement of imminent violence.” Section 16 (2) (c) prohibits “advocacy of hatred based on race….that constitutes incitement to cause harm.”

The constitution is clear and unambiguous on those issues. Yet the HRC claims that its ruling on Malema is based on a “societal and historical context” which takes into account “hundreds of years of marginalisation and exclusion based on race.”

Nowhere in the constitution is there any such provision made. On the contrary, the constitution is very clear (section 9) that everyone, irrespective of race, has “the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.” The HRC ruling, therefore, defies the constitutional rights of white people and sets a wrong and dangerous precedent.

Equally ludicrous, shocking and inept is the statement by HRC’s so-called legal expert, Shanelle van der Berg, that what constitutes hate speech depends on the racial identity of the person. So much, then, for equality before the law and the principle of non-racialism. Not only is the HRC’s credibility now worthless, but by allowing Malema to get away with his incitement to violence against whites, the HRC’s ruling has exasperated race relations.

The Mercury, The STAR, The Daily News and The Witness and published, 20 March 2019.

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