Ben Winks | Constitutional Court finally declares that hate is NOT okay

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Jon Qwelane. (Photo: Beeld)
Jon Qwelane. (Photo: Beeld)

Ben Winks writes that the Constitutional Court's finding that Jon Qwelane's words constituted hate speech achieves two important things. First, it declares that he was wrong and secondly it sends a strong message to all bigots that hate is not okay.

In 2008 – 13 years ago – veteran journalist and anti-apartheid activist Jon Qwelane wrote a column in the Sunday Sun entitled "Call me names, but gay is NOT okay". He argued that homosexuality is "wrong", "against the natural order of things", and akin to bestiality. He expressed his disgust at seeing two men kissing or holding hands in public, and called for the Constitution to be amended to delegalise same-sex marriage.

The article elicited widespread public outrage and hurt, and an unprecedented number of complaints to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which decided to take Qwelane to the Equality Court for hate speech.  

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. You can cancel any time.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, I believed it was authentic
7% - 228 votes
Yes, I didn't want to spend that much money on the original item
20% - 675 votes
No, I always shop at reputable stores
14% - 471 votes
No, I don't wear designer clothing
60% - 2024 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.92
-1.1%
Rand - Pound
20.40
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.48
+0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.83
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.2%
Gold
1,750.56
0.0%
Silver
22.43
0.0%
Palladium
1,974.50
0.0%
Platinum
987.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
78.09
+1.1%
Top 40
57,643
0.0%
All Share
64,049
0.0%
Resource 10
57,254
0.0%
Industrial 25
82,879
0.0%
Financial 15
14,316
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE