New hate speech bill opened for public comment

2016-10-24 18:46
Justice Minister Mike Masutha. Picture: Netwerk24

Justice Minister Mike Masutha. Picture: Netwerk24

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Cape Town - Justice Minister Michael Masutha has announced that a proposed bill to combat hate crimes and hate speech has been opened for public debate and consultation.

Masutha addressed the media in Pretoria on Monday and said the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill would criminalise acts of hate speech.

"The base offences most often committed against victims of hate crimes are offences to the physical and emotional integrity of the person, as well as offences against the property of the victims," he said.

A "base offence" would become a hate crime when the motivation involved prejudice, bias or intolerance because of: Race, gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, belief, culture, language, birth, HIV status, nationality, gender identity, intersex, albinism and occupation or trade.

Masutha said nationality, gender identity, HIV status, albinism, intersex, and occupation or trade were not mentioned in the Constitution, but were included in the bill because of previous hate crimes that had been committed on those grounds.

The bill was drafted after thorough study of similar legislation in Kenya, Canada and Australia.

"We are clear that this Bill itself may not end racism and other intolerances, but it will create an instrument that will hold those guilty of committing acts accountable before the law," he said.

The Bill can be accessed on the department's website. Interested parties and individuals have until December 1 2016 to make an input.

Read more on:    michael masutha  |  parliament 2016

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