SAHRC plans 'shoot the boer' dialogue

2011-09-15 21:15


The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is to host a "dialogue" on hate speech and freedom of expression after Monday's ruling on the "shoot the boer" song.

"The issues involved in this matter are so complex that they warrant a discussion that extends beyond the courts," the commission said on Thursday.

The Equality Court has ruled that ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema's singing of the "shoot the boer" song constitutes hate speech.

The SAHRC said it would use a complaint lodged with the commission by the Afrikanerbond on the now prohibited lyrics to explore beyond the legal issues of the judgment.

AfriForum Youth had laid a complaint of hate speech against ANCYL president Julius Malema after he sang the lyrics several times in public.

ANCYL plans to appeal the ruling.

The SAHRC said it had held off dealing with the Afrikanerbond complaint until the Equality Court case was finalised.

"Having now had an opportunity to consider the judgment and to reflect on the complaint brought by the Afrikanberbond against Mr Malema, the commission recognises that the questions pertaining to freedom of expression and hate speech are both complex and emotive."

SAHRC spokesman Vincent Moaga said it was important for the commission to provide a perspective on the issue of freedom of expression and hate speech.

The right to freedom of expression was enshrined in Section 16 of the Constitution, and the same right also allowed for freedom of speech, he said.

It did not extend to propaganda for war, incitement to violence or advocacy of hatred, so a balance was needed.

Section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act provided further limitations and prohibited speech which had the intention to be harmful, hurtful, and to incite violence.

Moaga said dates and other arrangements for the dialogue still had to be finalised.

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