Anger over old SA flag displayed in New Zealand biltong and wors shop

2018-12-10 21:09

Locals in New Zealand are up in arms after the apartheid national flag was put on display in the window of a shop in the suburb of Tawa in Wellington, according to stuff.nz

Some residents described it as a racist symbol, and have asked the owner to remove it. 

The owner of the store, Biltong and Wors, said he was aware that he had offended residents, but did not want to offer further comment on the matter. 

Earlier this year, an old South African flag was confiscated at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, according to Sports24. This followed an outcry on social media over its display. 

Westpac Stadium CEO Shane Harmon said that there were no further repercussions for the flag's owners. 

Legislation must be amended

Meanwhile, The Times reports that the government says, while the apartheid flag is recognised as a symbol that promotes white supremacy, the current legislation would need to be amended to classify the old SA flag as hate speech. 

This is contained in the Department of Justice affidavit which was filed last week in response to the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Equality Court bid to ban "gratuitous" public displays of the flag, on the basis that such displays amount to hate speech. The case is due to be heard in April next year. 

AfriForum is opposing the application. 

In its response, the lobby group said a wide-reaching ban of the old apartheid flag would be an unconstitutional infringement on the right to freedom of expression, News24 reported earlier. 

'No love'

AfriForum stated in their papers that they acknowledged that the old flag had the capacity to cause offence and emotional distress.

"As an organisation, we have no particular love for the flag or what it represents," it said.

"In the exceptionally rare instance that anyone participating in one of our events brings an old flag with them, we ask them to put it away."

The lobby group said there may be circumstances where displaying the old flag amounted to advocacy of hatred.

It argued, however, that it would not be so in all the cases that the Nelson Mandela Foundation seeks to prohibit.

In his affidavit, Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang said the old flag represented nothing other than the "inhumane system of racial segregation and subjugation" that governed the country before April 1994.

Read more on:    new zealand  |  racism  |  apartheid
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