Khoisan celebrate Hot**t hate speech ‘victory’ in case against Premier Sylvia Lucas

2015-07-01 17:33
Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas.

Northern Cape premier Sylvia Lucas. (Emile Hendricks/Foto24)

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An Equality Court ruling that ordered the Northern Cape premier to make a public apology for using the word Hot**t, has been welcomed as a victory for the Khoisan community.

Premier Sylvia Lucas was found guilty of hate speech yesterday in Upington for statements she made during a live radio broadcast five years ago.

Lucas referred to coloured people, saying: “Hot**t* just think about food and clothes.”

Khoisan leader Stanley Peterson who first laid a complaint at the Human Rights Commission and then the Equality court, told Netwerk24 that the guilty verdict meant a lot to the psyche of the Khoisan.

“Everybody walks all over us. We are already a marginalised people and then we still have to endure such statements from our own people. People always get so worked up when the K-word is used but keep quiet when the word Hot**t is used. We are also a people – a dignified people. We deserve respect.

“With this case it is as if small David again rose up against Goliath and won.”

Peterson said that people, especially political leaders, should think before they say things.

“Words are like bullets fired from a gun – once it is fired, you cannot take it back. It is the same as using the word Boer and the K-word.”

Peterson, a former ANC member, said he had relinquished his membership of the party.

“I cannot vote for a party that thinks it is okay to call me a Hot**t.”

ANC Northern Cape secretary, Zamani Saul, told Netwerk24 that the party will engage with Lucas on the matter. He also stated the Khoisan community “knows where the ANC stands”.

“We distance ourselves from any behaviour or articulation that suggests racial prejudice against anyone. If the court ordered her to apologise, she must apologise.

She is the premier, and also suppose to be the mother of all in the province.”

Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, Lucas’ spokesperson, said they would study the judgment before commenting.

“We are aware of the judgment and will decide what to do once we have studied [it].”

Lucas, who previously failed to comply with a Human Rights Commission order for a public apology, was again ordered to make a public apology in the media and an order for costs was made against her.

The incident occurred in 2010, when Lucas was Northern Cape MEC for environmental affairs.

She also made headlines in 2013 when she bought more than R50 000 worth of fast food from KFC and Nando’s on her official credit card.
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