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Act on the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech should protect vulnerable people

On Thursday 17 November 2016 trade union Solidarity commented on the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill at a briefing held at its Head Office.

This comes after cabinet, at a cabinet meeting held in October 2016, approved the bill for public input.

As part of Solidarity’s comments it is emphasised that as a signatory to the United Nations (UN’s) International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) government has a duty to comply with the Convention’s requirements. Under the Convention government officials, politicians, journalists and those in positions of power have a greater obligation not to commit hate crimes and use hate speech, and therefore, more severe punishment should be imposed if such persons are guilty of a hate crime or hate speech.

Solidarity Chief Executive, Dr Dirk Hermann, said: “Our criticism of the bill deals with the very fact that it does not comply with requirements of the Convention. Moreover, such an Act should be aimed at protecting vulnerable people,” Hermann said.

Hermann furthermore contends that statements made by Deputy Minister of Justice John Jeffery earlier this year when addressing a meeting of the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) question the purpose of such an Act.

Issues highlighted and disclosed by Solidarity include:

  • Video footage of John Jeffrey’s speech made to CERD that included among other things the following statement:
    “But predominantly most attacks of racial violence are by white people on black people”. Click here for the video footage.
  • Other incidents where politicians and government officials who are guilty of similar offences have also been disclosed. Click here.
  • A young victim of this type of crime shared with the audience her bad experience when she had to endure racist remarks and hate speech made by an official of none other than Mr John Jeffery’s department. Click here for the full story.

SMS AWAY WITH to 34802 and let your voice be heard.

Solidarity also commented on how the bill should rather read or be amended.

If John Jeffery is serious about the bill, then he would summarily dismiss this particular employee to get rid of double standards. Do you agree?


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