Lawyers working on Qwelane’s rescission application

2011-06-13 13:18

Lawyers for South Africa’s ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane, a former journalist, hope to file an application for the rescission of a hate speech judgment against him on Wednesday.

In a statement today, Jurgens Bekker Attorneys said they left yesterday to finalise the rescission application with Qwelane and intended serving their application before close of business by Wednesday.

A former Sunday Sun columnist, Qwelane was found guilty of hate speech by the Johannesburg Equality Court last Tuesday for an article published in the newspaper on July 20 2008, under the headline: “Call me names, but gay is NOT okay”.

The court found that the article and a cartoon in his column propagated hatred and harm.

As a result of his work, homosexuals had experienced emotional pain and suffering.

The South African Human Rights Commission took the matter to court in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

Qwelane did not file a response, so the court found in favour of the commission and ordered him to make an unconditional apology to the gay and lesbian community in the Sunday Sun newspaper and another national newspaper.

He was also ordered to pay R100 000 to the commission, for awareness and education of gay and lesbian rights.

No costs were ordered.

In their statement, Qwelane’s attorneys said that he was not in wilful default by not attending the hearing as he was in the Ugandan capital Kampala on the date of the hearing.

Rescission sets aside or cancels a decision.

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