Merit for the publication of a "Manual on Hate Speech"

2013-04-02 20:31

A well known radio show host tweeted during the Easter week end of what his wife experienced at the hands of a security guard at a shopping centre emporium. The racial epithet that informed the security guards comments and demeanour highlights, in this writer's firm view,the need to develop and publish a "Manual of Hate Speech" for the edification and information of everyone.

Readers of my blog are familiar with the judgment against Julius Malema brought by Agriforum and the horrible death of a Muslim youngster at the hands of Afrikaans speaking thugs during Ramadaan last year.

I have personally been subjected to hate speech,some of it on this blogspot in fact, most of it carefully structured so as to keep within permissible limits sanctioned by the Constitutional Court but, if one studies the European model especially the Manual on Hate Speech that has been published for public consumption, it becomes easier to prosecute hate mongers.

Recently there was a decision handed down by the South Gauteng High Court about how inappropriate publication on social media platforms would hold people liable for defamation and I have no doubt that Hate Speech too comes within the scope and ambit of that judgnent.

The merit and wisdom behind this is to serve constructive notice on the public in general that hate speech , no matter how sophisticatedly tailored has no place under our constitutional dispensation. It also is to educate and empower people into good conduct in both the public and private domain.

South Africans have not learnt the lesson and wisdom that our aged iconic Mr Mandela entrusted to us in the form of that metaphor namely the rainbow. Such a manual should be made available at every public institution and handed out to every South African in a format that he or she comprehends and practices it's advisories that will eventually transform us into a truly liberated nation.

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