Afrikanerbond appeals Pahad 'hate speech' decision

The Afrikanerbond has appealed a decision by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on what it considers hate speech by Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad.

Afrikanerbond managing director Jan Bosman said on Thursday the organisation had originally lodged a formal complaint of hate speech against Pahad with the SAHRC near the end of August.

The complaint followed media reports that Pahad told a press conference in Beijing that “white South Africans would like to see the 2010 Soccer World Cup flop”.

Bosman said although the statement was limited to some white people, it was “a form of irresponsible incitement and hate-speech” and Pahad should “know better”.

At the beginning of September the SAHRC wrote a letter to the Afrikanerbond explaining it had decided the complaint was out of its jurisdiction because Pahad made the comment in Beijing.

“The cause of action arose in Beijing and the South African Human Rights Commission has no jurisdiction in matters arising outside the republic,” read the SAHRC letter.

Bosman said the Afrikanerbond felt such a narrow interpretation would set an extremely dangerous precedent.

“Our conclusion, based on this decision, is that every South African can therefore undermine every principle of the Bill of Rights, just outside the borders of South Africa.”

Bosman said while the comment was made in Beijing, the consequences of his remarks were felt in SA and therefore should be considered within the commission’s jurisdiction. He said the Afrikanerbond had already appealed the SAHRC’s decision.

Commission spokesperson Vincent Moaga confirmed that an appeal from the Afrikanerbond had been received.

“We will look into it,” he said.

Pahad’s spokesperson Samson Phakwago said Pahad was currently on his way back from Beijing and would only be able to comment on Friday, he said. - Sapa

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