Chinese Association files hate speech complaint

2017-02-17 21:05
Chairperson of The Chinese Association, Erwin Pon and members of his delegation handing over a complaint of hate speech to Commissioner Matlhodi Angelina Makwetla at the South African Human Rights Commission in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

Chairperson of The Chinese Association, Erwin Pon and members of his delegation handing over a complaint of hate speech to Commissioner Matlhodi Angelina Makwetla at the South African Human Rights Commission in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg – The Chinese Association (TCA) in Gauteng on Friday laid a complaint of hate speech with the SAHRC following xenophobic comments on social media.

It laid separate criminal charges of crimen injuria against individuals who made offensive and threatening remarks against the Chinese community on the Facebook pages of Carte Blanche, Eyewitness News, the TCA, and the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary.

“The comments are racist, inflammatory, vitriolic, insulting, hate-filled and promote and propagate hatred of, and violence to Chinese people. More terrifyingly, the comments directly incite violence and harm to our children,” the TCA said in a statement.

The xenophobic comments followed the annual Chinese New Year celebrations on January 28 and Carte Blanche’s broadcast the next day of a report on animal abuse and the trade in donkey skins.

The TCA said it condemned all illegal activities and cruelty to animals.

A TCA delegation told SA Human Rights Commission officials in Braamfontein that it was not the first time they had experienced instances of hate speech.

“We saw the messages getting louder and louder and it got serious when it started involving children, which is when we decided to raise our voices,” TCA chairperson Erwin Pon said.

The comments had since been removed from all the Facebook pages at the TCA’s request.

The SAHRC’s chief operations officer Chantal Kisoon told the TCA the investigation of its complaint could take a while. This was due to an avalanche of recent complaints about racist remarks on social media.

Pon said the Chinese community wanted immediate relief, in the form of an apology. In the long-term, they wanted to stop it from happening again.

The TCA would on Monday advise the SAHRC if it wanted to go the litigation route or seek alternative dispute resolution.

Kisoon stressed that the delegation had a strong case, with a prospect of success, in the Equality Court.


Read more on:    sahrc  |  johannesburg

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