Speak out against the draft Hate Speech Bill in South Africa
The Department of Justice & Constitutional Development recently released the draft Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill (“the Bill”).
After government has taken nearly four years to draft the Bill, the public has been given five weeks only (until 1 December 2016) to comment thereon. This timeline is completely unfair and unreasonable.
In addition, the definition of “hate speech” in the Bill is far too broad, and will have severe implications for freedom of speech, as guaranteed in the South African Constitution. In particular, in its current form, the wording of the Bill will make preaching and teaching from the Bible and other Holy Texts liable to prosecution, which is also a violation of freedom of religion that is guaranteed by the South African Constitution.
Stand with us as we call upon the Government to:
- Postpone the deadline for comment until Wednesday, 1 March 2017; and
- Ensure that a religious exemption clause is written into this Bill.
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