Demistifying Hate Speech under the PEPUDA

  • Prof Judith Geldenhuys UNISA
  • Prof Michelle Kelly-Louw University of South Africa
Keywords: Equality Court, freedom of speech, hate speech, factors to assess hate speech, South African Human Rights Commission

Abstract

The factual matrix that is considered in each hate speech case differs from that in the next. However, certain factors always remain key in the process of balancing the different constitutional rights at play: who the victim is, who the perpetrator is and the nature of the expression. Additional factors to be considered in deciding whether an expression constitutes hate speech include: historical associations; who the utterer is as against the victim(s); the audience that is addressed and where the utterance is made; and the prevailing social conditions. How South African courts and the South African Human Rights Commission factor in these specific issues in assessing whether an utterance constitutes hate speech is examined in this contribution. Applicable international law principles and comparable foreign law reveal certain areas of the South African hate speech protection requiring refinement.

Author Biographies

Prof Judith Geldenhuys, UNISA

LLB, LLM (UP), LLD (UNISA). Associate Professor in the Department of Mercantile Law, UNISA, South Africa.

Prof Michelle Kelly-Louw, University of South Africa

BIURIS, LLB, LLM, LLD (Unisa), Dip Insolvency Law and Practice (SARIPA) (UJ). Professor Department of Mercantile Law, Unisa. 

References

Bibliography
Literature

Bohler-Muller, N and Tait, M “The Equality Courts as a Vehicle for Legal Transformation — A Few Practical Suggestions” (2000) 21 Obiter 406-415


Botha, JC and Govindjee, A “Hate Speech Provisions and Provisos: A response to Marais and Pretorius and Proposals for Reform” Potchefstroom Electronic Review/ Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal 2017 (20) – DOI https://dx.doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2017/v20i0a1395

Botha, Joanna and Govindjee, Avinash “The regulation of racially derogatory speech in the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000” South African Journal on Human Rights 2016 Vol 32 issue 2 293-320


Botha, Monray Marcellus “Managing racism in the workplace” 2018 (81) Tydskrif vir die Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg 671-681


Carney, Terrence (2014) “Being (im)polite: A forensic linguistic approach to interpreting a hate speech case” Language Matters: Studies in the African Languages of Africa 45:3, 325-341 DOI:10.1080/10228195.2014.959545

Memorandum
University of Oxford “Comparative Hate Speech Law: Memorandum (March 2012)” Oxford Pro Bono Publico http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/opbp (20 August 2019)


Currie, Iain and De Waal, Johan The Bill of Rights Handbook 6 ed (2013 Juta)

Goffman, E (1967) Interaction ritual: essays on face to face behaviour (New York Pantheon Books 1967)

Iyer Desan “An Analytical Look into the Concept of Online Defamation in South Africa” Speculum Juris 2018 32(2) 124-134

Khumalo, Bongani “Racism in the workplace: a view from the jurisprudence of courts in the past decade” South African Mercantile Law Journal (2018) vol 30 no 3 377-394

Kok, Anton “Which is the appropriate forum when hate speech occurs in the workplace: The Equality Court or the Labour Court? Strydom v Chiloane 2008 (2) SA 247 (T) (2009) 24(2) SA Public Review/ Public Law 651-158

Kok, A “The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000: Proposals for legislative reform” (2008) 24 South African Journal of Human Rights 446

Kok, A and Botha, L “Die siviele verbod op haatspraak – “Shoot the Boer” in die gelykheidshof, hoë hof en die uisaaiklagtetribunaal” 2014 (11) Litnet Akademies 198-219

Marais ME and Pretorius JL “The Constitutionality of the Prohibition of Hate Speech in terms of section 10(1) of the Equality Act: A Reply to Botha and Govindjee” 2019 PER/PELJ 2019(22) - DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2019/v22i0a5718

Pike, A; Purchert, J and Chinyamurindi, WT “Analysing the future of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment through the lens of small and medium enterprises” Acta Commercii (2018) 18(1) a 566 1-10

Saeed, John I Semantics (2009 Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell)

Waldron, Jeremy “Dignity and defamation: the visibility of hate” (2009) Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures (2010) 123 Harvard Law Review 1596

Weber, Anne Manual on Hate Speech (Council of Europe Publishing 2009)

Legislation
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003
Canadian Criminal Code RSC 1985, c C-46
Cape Chinese Exclusion Act of 1904
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998
Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, 2016
Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000
Public Order Act 1986
Racial Discrimination Act 52 of 1975
Strafgesetzbuch 1998
Transvaal Immigration Restriction Act of 1902

International instrument

ICERD 1969
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1969

Case law
AfriForum v Malema 2011 6 SA 240 (EqC)
Borgin v De Villiers 1980 3 SA 556 (A)
Canada (Human Rights Comm.) v Taylor 1990 13 C.H.R.R. D/435 (S.C.C.)
Chinese Association of South Africa v Minister of Labour http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPHC/2008/174.pdf
Crown Chickens (Pty) Ltd t/a Rocklands Poultry v Kapp 2002 6 BLLR 493 (LAC)
Dagane v SSBC 2018 ZALCJHB 114
Delange v Costa 1989 2 SA 857 (A)

De Reuck v Director of Public Prosecutions, Witwatersrand Local Division 2004 1 SA 406 (CC)

Duncanmec (Pty) Limited v Gaylard NO 2018 ZACC 29
Dyonashe v Siyaya Skills Institute (Pty) Ltd 2018 3 BALR 280 (CCMA)
Eatock v Bolt 2011 FCA 1130
Fratanolo v Hungary App no 29459/10 (ECtHR 3 November 2011)

Freedom Front v South African Human Rights Commission 2003 11 BCLR 1283 (SAHRC)

Garaudy v France App no. 65831/01 (ECtHR 3 July 2003)

Grant v Torstar Corporation 2009 3 SCR 640

Herselman v Geleba unreported case no 231/2009, 1-9-2011; 231/2009 2011 ZAEQC 1; 2011 ZAQC 1
Hotz v University of Cape Town 2017 2 SA 485 (SCA)
Incal Group v Turkey, App no 22678/93 ECtHR 9 June 1999

Islamic Unity Convention v Independent Broadcasting Authority 2002 4 SA 194 (CC)

Lebowa Platinum Mines Ltd v Hill 1998 19 ILJ 1112 (LAC)

Le Roux v Dey 2011 3 SA 274 (CC)

Makhanya v St Gobain 2019 7 BALR 720 (NBCCI)

Modikwa Mining Personnel Services v CCMA 2012 ZALCJHB 61

Mohammed v Jassiem 1996 1 SA 673 (SCA)

Nelson Mandela Foundation Trust and AfriForum 2019 4 All SA 237 (EqC)
Rustenburg Platinum Mine and SAEWA obo Meyer Bester 2018 8 BCLR 951 (CC)
R v Ahenakew 2006 SKQB 17-18
R v Bahr 2006 ABPC 360
SAEWU v Rustenburg Platinum Mines LAC case no. JA 45/2016 (3 May 2017)
South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd v Hansen case no. CA6/2016 of 25 May 2017

South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), Lucy Strydom v BLF and six others case no 11/2018 EQ JHB

South African Human Rights Commission obo South African Jewish Board of Deputies v Masuku 2018 3 SA 291(GJ)
South African Human Rights Commission v Khumalo 2019 1 All SA 254 (GJ)
South African Human Rights Commission v Qwelane 2018 2 SA 149 (GJ)

South African Revenue Service v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration 2017 38 ILJ 97 (CC)

The Citizen 1978 (Pty) Ltd v McBride 2011 4 SA 191 (CC)

Vajnai v Hungary App no 33629/06 (ECtHR, 8 July 2008)

Vodacom (Pty) Ltd v Byrne NO 2012 33 ILJ 2705 (LC)

West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette 319 US 624 1943

Internet sources

ANA Reporter “#DriehoekHighSchool: DA Youth reports BLF to SAHRC over 'most vile' remarks” IOL News (2 February 2019) https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/driehoekhighschool-da-youth-reports-blf-to-sahrc-over-most-vile-remarks-19095305 (17 August 2019)

Beukes, Werner “’BLF vier nie ander se dood’ hoor hof” Beeld (18 September 2019) https://www.pressreader.com/search?query=BLF%20vier%20die&languages=en&groupBy=Language&hideSimilar=0&type=1&state=1 (21 September 2019)

Brink, Eugene Dr and Mulder, Connie “Solidarity Research Institute: Racism, hate speech and double standards: Not a simple black and white matter” (2017) https://solidariteit.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Racism-hate-speech-and-double-standards-by-no-means-a-mere-matter-of-bla....pdf (19 July 2019)

Daniel, Luke “South Africans are emigrating abroad in record high numbers” 702 Talk Radio News (6 August 2018) https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/south-africans-are-emigrating-abroad-in-record-high-numbers/ (16 September 2019)

United Nations Human Rights Declaration of the Rights of Persons belonging to National, Ethnic, Religious and Language Minorities https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Minorities/Booklet_Minorities_English.pdf

Dlula, Sipokuhle “Black people can’t be racist” News24 (24 November 2014) https://m.news24.com>MyNews24 (4 October 2019)

eNCA “PennySparrowMustFall: Estate agent feels Twitter wrath after racist post” (4 January 2016 https://www.enca.com/south-africa/penny-sparrow-feels-twitter-wrath (17 August 2019)

Feketha, S “Malema ‘hate speech’ ruling furore” IOL News (28 March 2019) https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/malema-hate-speech-ruling-furore-20131591 (17 August 2019)

Friedman, Steven “Land debate in South Africa is about dignity and equality – not the Constitution” Mail and Guardian (5 March 2018) https://mg.co.za/article/2018-03-05-land-debate-in-south-africa-is-about-dignity-and-equality-not-the-constitution (5 October 2019)

Fromm, Paul “70, 000 whites murdered in ‘modern’ South Africa; Obama’s African legacy” American Free Press (26 July 2015) http://americanfreepress.net/70000-whites-murdered-in-modern-south-africa-obamas-african-legacy/ (6 October 2019)

GroundUp Staff “Accusations of assault at UCT: What really happened?” (18 October 2016) https://www.groundup.org.za/article/max-price-Maasdorp-assault-claims/ (21 September 2019)

Ho, Ufrieda “Anti-Chinese Sentiment Hate speech case a message about racism, discrimination” Daily Maverick (14 March 2019) https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-03-14-hate-speech-case-a-message-about-racism-discrimination/ (1 September 2019)

Jordaan, Nomhlubi “Final word on the k-word in black and white Times Select 2019 (23 August 2019) https://select.timeslive.co.za/news/2019-08-23-final-word-on-the-k-word-its-not-ok-whether-youre-black-or-white/ (23 August 2019).

Laing, A “Julius Malema found guilty of hate speech for singing 'Shoot the Boer'” The Telegraph (12 September 2011) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/8757630/Julius-Malema-found-guilty-of-hate-speech-for-singing-Shoot-the-Boer.html (17 August 2019)


Lindeque, Mia “BLF ordered to remove slogan after Equality Court hate speech ruling” Eyewitness News (6 May 2019) https://ewn.co.za/2019/05/06/blf-ordered-to-remove-slogan-after-equality-court-hate-speech-ruling (17 August 2019)

Mabuza, E “BLF 'hate speech' accusations to be heard in Equality Court” Sowetan Live (29 January 2019) https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-01-29-blf-hate-speech-accusations-to-be-heard-in-equality-court/ (17 August 2019)

Munnik, Jan “Mere Compliance with the Employment Equity Act Results in No or Insignificant EE Transformation” https://labourguide.co.za/recent-articles/50-new/most-recent-publications/2660-mere-compliance-with-the-employment-equity-act-results-in-no-or-insignificant-ee-transformation (5 October 2019)

Merten, Marianne “Employment Equity – 20 years down the line, a marginal movement to diversity” Daily Maverick (27 August 2019) dailymaverick.co.za (5 October 2019)

Mzwakali, Sobantu “Black people can’t be racist” Pambazuka News (13 October 2015) pambazuka.org (4 October 2019)

Naidoo, L “Hate speech: Human Rights Commission did not consider Malema's influence” City Press (9 April 2019) https://city-press.news24.com/Voices/hate-speech-human-rights-commission-did-not-consider-malemas-influence-20190409 (17 August 2019)

News24Wire “Crime stats show that situation is 'quite bad' – Ramaphosa” (16 September 2019) https://www.polity.org.za/article/crime-stats-show-that-situation-is-quite-bad-ramaphosa-2019-09-16 (16 September 2019)

Njilo, Nonkululeko “Racist licensing official in viral video has been dismissed” Times Live (04 June 2019) https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-06-04-racist-licensing-official-in-viral-video-has-been-dismissed/?utm_campaign=recommendation&utm_medium=banner&utm_source=newsroom (10 Julie 2019)

Penny, T and Nqola, R “SAHRC ‘appalled’ by racist comments on Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy” Eyewitness News (EWN) (5 February 2019) https://ewn.co.za/2019/02/05/sahrc-appalled-by-racist-comments-on-hoerskool-driehoek-tragedy (17 August 2019)

Pijoos, I “BLF to be reported to Human Rights Commission over 'racist' Hoërskool Driehoek remarks” Times Live (3 February 2019) https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2019-02-03-blf-to-be-reported-to-human-rights-commission-over-racist-hoerskool-driehoek-remarks/ (17 August 2019)

Pijoos, I “You kill one black person, we kill five white people – BLF President” Times Live (10 December 2018) https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-12-10-watch--you-kill-one-black-person-we-kill-five-white-people-blf-president/ (17 August 2019)

“Malema's white slaughter remarks: The SAHRC's finding” https://www.politicsweb.co.za/documents/malemas-white-slaughter-remarks-the-sahrcs-finding (8 March 2019)

General Recommendation No 35: Combating racist hate speech (2013)
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/Training/Compilation/Pages/d)GeneralrecommendationNo35Combatingracisthatespeech(2013).aspx

Official report of the SAHRC Findings regarding certain statements made by Mr Julius Malema and another member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (March 2019) on the SAHRC website https://sahrc.org.za/ (17 August 2019)

SAHRC “Media Advisory: The South African Human Rights Commission invites MEC Faith Mazibuko to clarify her comments” https://www.sahrc.org.za/index.php/sahrc-media/news-2/item/1865-media-advisory-the-south-african-human-rights-commission-invites-mec-faith-mazibuko-to-clarify-her-comments (17 August 2019)


Shange, N “BLF in court for ‘hate speech’ against whites” Herald Live (18 July 2018) https://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2018-07-19-blf-in-court-for-hate-speech-against-whites/ (17 August 2019)

Statistics
StatsSA “Mid-year population estimates 2019” http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0302/MYPE%202019%20Presentation_final_for%20SG%2026_07%20static%20Pop_1.pdf (20 August 2019)
Views
  • Abstract 64
  • Pdf 37
  • Xml 16
  • epub 9
Views and downloads are with effect from 11 January 2018
Published
2020-06-04
Section
Articles