FFPlus lays hate speech complaint against Zuma

2015-01-16 18:01

The SA Human Rights Commission says the Freedom Front Plus has laid a complaint of hate speech against the ANC and President Jacob Zuma.

The complaint related to statements attributed to Zuma last Friday at an African National Congress fundraiser, where he reportedly told some of the country's wealthiest people that "all the trouble began" in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck landed in the Cape.

SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena today said: "They [the FFPlus] claim that the statement generalised negatively about the descendants of Jan van Riebeeck and white people in particular, and that the statement demonised Afrikaners based on an incorrect historical view."

The SAHRC was assessing the complaint to decide whether it had the mandate to pursue it, but it was not known how long this process would take.

FFPlus spokesperson Anton Alberts said the party felt compelled to lay the complaint because it felt the remarks attributed to Zuma constituted a form of hate speech.

"He spoke on a racial basis. He referred to whites and wherever whites engaged with black people, they engaged in aggressive acts and warfare and displacement of black people," Alberts claimed.

"He [Zuma] also said that the ANC was a formation of indigenous people ... which implies other people can't be regarded as indigenous."

Alberts pointed to the preamble of the Constitution, which states that South Africa belongs to all those who live in it.

As such, Zuma's words construed whites, coloureds and Indians as "non-indigenous", creating "a dispensation where they are regarded as second-rate citizens, as colonists".

He claimed the comments attributed to Zuma were historically incorrect.

"We ask that the SAHRC require the ANC to put out paid advertisements in the mainstream newspapers [to apologise] and also that Zuma, out of his own pocket, and the ANC pay each R1 million into a fund for minority victims of crime," Alberts said.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj referred queries to the ANC, saying the allegations related to an ANC event. The ANC could not immediately be reached for comment.

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