An open letter to South African leadership and Champions against hate speech

An open letter to South African leadership and Champions against hate speech

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Maddy Christians started this petition to Ms T Ross

Attention:

Ms. T Ross - Specialist State Law Adviser - Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Email: hatecrimes@justice.gov.za

Mmusi Maimane - Democratic Alliance (DA), Email: leader@da.org.za

South African Institute of Race Relations NPC, Email: info@irr.org.za

Helen Suzman Foundation – Francis Antonie, Email: info@hsf.org.za

President Cyril Ramaphosa - African National Congress (ANC), Email: presidentrsa@presidency.gov.za

Melikhaya Xego - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Email: mxego22@gmail.com

Patricia de Lille - Independent Democrats (ID), Email: patriciadl@id.org.za

 

An open letter to our country’s leadership and champions:

Racism and intolerance has long since not just been a black versus white race issue. It affects all of South Africa, and as such, I think the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and your organization, should give equal credence to racial slurs against the coloured people. This is not a black ANC issue, or a white DA issue, this is a people issue…a racism issue that affects every single South African.  

Do not think that calling a black South African a “k….r” hurts more than someone calling us a “hotnot”!

1.       In the matter of Angelo Agrizzi, spokesperson for the SAHRC, Gail Smith, had this to say: "The SAHRC finds this conduct particularly egregious, hurtful, uncalled for and it is the kind of instance which would embolden like-minded individuals if no action is taken or sanction is meted out." She added: "The SAHRC believes that Agrizzi has engaged in hate speech which accentuates the chasms that were fostered before 1994 and which undermines the aspirations of our constitutional democracy."

So too, I feel, we should rise against the “like-minded” utterances of Faku William Makananda aka Fakes McKay wherein he clearly, and on multiple occasions (see attached), shares his opinion of coloureds and Muslims. He openly brags about having a gun, it being loaded, and inciting his intentions to use it, and violence.

Also on the matter of Agrizzi, the SAHRC said it would be in the "public interest" to seek "appropriate relief including an order payment for damages and an order directing the clerk of the Equality Court to submit the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions for the possibility of instituting criminal proceedings against Agrizzi," said Smith.

2.       In the matter of Edward Zuma, SAHRC lodged the court application against him, compelling him to issue a written apology for his comments accusing ministers Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan of being sell-outs. He labelled Hanekom an askari who was "no better than a vile dog", and Gordhan a racist who viewed black people as nothing more than "k...s". He was also ordered to pay two under-resourced schools in KwaZulu-Natal R30 000 each a far cry less than the original SAHRC request of R100 000 paid to a suitable non-governmental organisation.

3.       In the matter of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) regional secretary Zimasile Giyama was ordered to apologize to SPCA manager, Ronnie Yeoman, for allegedly calling her a “white racist b**ch”. Equality Court magistrate Kgomotso Kgayile ordered that if Giyama fails to apologise, he must pay a R50 000 fine.

4.       In the matter of former real estate agent Vicki Momberg who became the first person in South Africa to be jailed for crimen injuria. She was found guilty after a video of her racist tirade hurled at a police officer went viral. That followed the case of Penny Sparrow, who was fined R150 000 for her racist social media postings.

5.       I also call on the recent case brought by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) who laid a complaint against three individuals it accused of anti-Semitic hate speech – Muhammad Hattia, Tameez Seedat and Matome Letsoalo – who made disparaging comments on social media. "Social media is a very powerful platform and these individuals' tweets had wide reach, with many people commenting," SAJBD chairperson Shaun Zagnoev.

6.       In the matter of Reverend Oscar Bougardt, the applicant, the SAHRC, had asked for Bougardt to be sentenced to 30 days in jail and to be fined R500 000 for anti-gay slurs, referring to gay people as "perverted" and advocating for criminalisation, saying they should "deal with them like they do in Nigeria".

7.       In the matter of former ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane was found guilty of hate speech, the Johannesburg Equality Court found him guilty of hate speech. He was ordered to apologise and fined R100 000. However, he was not present at the default judgment because of his job abroad, and the judgment was withdrawn on September 1, 2011. The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) subsequently initiated proceedings against him again.

8.       In the matter of Velaphi Khumalo, the Equality Court has declared guilty of hate speech after he called on Facebook for the country to be "cleansed" of white people, in the same manner Adolf Hitler targeted Jews. It stemmed from a complaint by the SAHRC on behalf of numerous people who had submitted objections to what he wrote. Among the complainants were the SAJBD and a Capetonian, Daniel Amos. "The utterances of the respondent are declared to be speech prohibited in terms of Section 10(1) of the Equality Act," ruled Judge Roland Sutherland. He interdicted Khumalo from repeating the utterances and ordered him to remove all references to the utterances off any social media or other forms of public communication. He also had to write a letter of apology directed to all South Africans and was ordered to pay the complainants' costs.

It is only fair, that these comments that were made in the public domain and were of a nature that was extremely damaging and incited violence, gets the SAHRC support for the same outcome in the Makananda case.

Online Sources Cited:

Angelo Agrizzi

Edward Zuma

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) regional secretary Zimasile Giyama

South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD)

On dignity and atonement

Reverend Oscar Bougardt

former ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane

Velaphi Khumalo

Equality Court makes it clear that no racism is acceptable

 

 

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