Cape Town - A blog calling for the disenfranchisement of white men does not amount to hate speech, the Appeals Panel of the Press Council has ruled.Judge Bernard Ngoepe and his panel overturned an earlier decision of the Press Ombudsman, Johan Retief, about a blog titled "Could it be time to deny white men the franchise?" published by HuffPost SA in April. Former HuffPost SA editor Verashni Pillay appealed the ruling. Pillay resigned and apologised for the blog after it was revealed that the blogger was fake. Pillay on Tuesday tweeted that the appeal was successful and thanked her lawyer Ben Winks for taking on the case pro bono.READ: 'White men have power in SA' - HuffPost SA appeal hearsShe suggested that the Press Ombudsman needed to be held accountable for the original judgment.Ngoepe and his panel found that the blog, written by a fake blogger called "Shelley Garland", did not denigrate white men and did not advocate hatred or incite harm. There must be room for "robust debate" in South Africa."It could well be that the piece irritated or annoyed some people; but to classify it as a hate speech would be too huge a jump," the panel ruled. Breaking: My appeal in the hate speech ruling around the #HuffPost blog matter has succeeded. The appeals committee has set it aside. pic.twitter.com/dC3XTWfKSb— Verashni Pillay (@verashni) August 22, 2017 Let's not forget how some from @Our_DA celebrated a ruling that was devastating to our democracy and freedom of speech. https://t.co/QwRZUx9jju— Verashni Pillay (@verashni) August 22, 2017 Thanks to my incredible lawyer @BenWinks for doing this pro bono while Afriforum threw their massive resource towards defending it. https://t.co/kQ21ptqlvr— Verashni Pillay (@verashni) August 22, 2017 The press ombudsman, you mean. Incredibly poor work, and not the first time either. No calls for him to account though. https://t.co/grPqxJimgS— Verashni Pillay (@verashni) August 22, 2017 * HuffPost SA and News24 are both owned by Media24.