Hate speech complaint laid against Zuma's son

2015-04-02 13:01
Edward Zuma (The Witness)

Edward Zuma (The Witness)

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Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) confirmed on Thursday that it had received a complaint of hate speech against President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward Zuma.

“I can confirm that the commission has received a complaint following the alleged utterances made by President Jacob Zuma’s son,"  SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said.

"We are in the process of confirming those utterances."

Zuma junior has been widely criticised for supporting King Goodwill Zwelithini's controversial call to deport foreigners from South Africa.

Ticking time bomb

Zuma told News24 that he feared that South Africa was sitting on a ticking time bomb of foreigners taking over the country.

“The reason why I am saying that is because some of the foreigners are working for private security companies, where they have been employed for cheap labour.

These companies are running away from complying with South African labour laws,” said the president’s eldest son.

His comments come two weeks after Zwelithini shared his sentiments on foreigners at a moral regeneration rally in Pongola, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The Zulu king was quoted as saying: “We urge all foreigners to pack their bags and leave.”

Zwelithini’s comments are being investigated by the SAHRC. The investigation is on-going.

Hate speech

Mangena said the complainant believed that Zuma’s comments bordered on hate speech.

“The complainant also believes that the comments are xenophobic. We are again warning leaders to refrain from making such statements,” said Mangena.

He said foreigners had every right to be in the country, provided they had the required documentation.

“It is our duty to protect and accommodate them. They have a right to live and work here and contribute to the economy,” said Mangena.

The Provincial Executive Council on Thursday issued a statement condemning attacks on foreigners in KwaZulu-Natal.

It was reported earlier this week that foreigners had fled their homes in Isipingo, south of Durban.

The attack was reportedly fuelled by the king’s comments. It was reported that locals claimed that they were acting on Zwelithini’s instructions.

Attacks condemned

Royal Household Trust chairperson Judge Jerome Ngwenya said the king condemned the attacks.

“He is shocked at the lawlessness happening there, and opportunists that are now taking advantage of his comments that have been misinterpreted,” said Ngwenya.

He urged police to continue investigating those behind the attacks.

“People must stop attacking foreigners and hiding behind the king’s name,” added Ngwenya.

The KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial executive committee (PEC) issued a statement on Thursday condemning the attacks and calling for calm in the province.

“The PEC calls upon the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal to desist from acts of violence against fellow human beings. It further calls for open dialogue and active participation by all citizens to finding solutions to our development challenges,” said PEC chair Senzo Mchunu.

 “We are dealing with issues around illegal immigrants, particularly those involved in criminal activities. We will continue to confront development challenges that lead to a sense of social exclusion, poverty and vulnerability of women and children in instances of such violence.”

The African Diaspora Forum, which lodged a complaint of hate speech against the Zulu king with the SAHRC, said it was still waiting for a response from the body. The forum will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss what can be done in response to Zwelithini and Zuma’s comments.

Read more on:    sahrc  |  edward zuma  |  durban  |  xenophobia  |  hate speech

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