High court to hear Qwelane challenge

2014-09-08 20:33
(Supplied)

(Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane's challenge of the constitutionality of certain provisions of equality legislation will be heard in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in November, his lawyer said on Monday.

"Today [Monday] the heads of argument were filed and we will now prepare for the hearing," Andrew Boerner said in a statement.

"We are also seeking a stay of the equality proceedings that are at present pending against our client in the Equality Court. What is sought is only a temporary stay pending the outcome of the constitutional challenge."

He said proceedings were set down for 13 November and 14 November.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and ministers of justice and correctional services were respondents in the matter.

SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said the commission was opposing the challenge and had filed the relevant papers.

"We will argue that both matters, that is the substantive equality challenge and the constitutional challenge, be heard together. We are preparing accordingly," he said.

The justice minister's spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said he would comment later.

Qwelane would challenge sections 10 and 11 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. Section 10 deals with hate speech and section 11 with harassment.

In April 2011, Qwelane was found guilty by the Johannesburg Equality Court of hate speech, but was not present at the default judgment because of his job abroad. The judgment was withdrawn on 1 September 2011.

Qwelane's counsel argued at the time that the default judgment was not allowed, and that a direction hearing needed to be convened before such a judgment could be handed down.

At the hearing on 28 August last year, the court heard that Qwelane would bring the challenge.

While still working as a journalist in 2008, Qwelane wrote a column, published in the Sunday Sun, in which he expressed his opinion about homosexuals. The column was headlined "Call me names, but gay is not okay".

Boerner previously said section 10 of the act was "guilty of over-breadth and vagueness" and posed a constraint to freedom of expression.

He said the Constitution placed the following limitations on freedom of expression: propaganda for war, incitement of imminent violence and advocacy of hatred based on race, ethnicity, gender, or religion and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

"As a columnist, Jon Qwelane's opinion and views were in the public domain and therefore open to public comment and scrutiny," Boerner said at the time.

"His particular expression of his views may have been unpopular, controversial and even shocking, but it neither advocated hatred nor constituted incitement to cause harm. His expression is therefore protected by our Constitution."

Read more on:    jon qwelane

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.