Human Rights Commission wants Edward Zuma to fork out a R100 000 for hate speech

The Human Rights Commission has asked Durban’s Equality Court to find Edward Zuma guilty of hate speech and order him to pay a fine of R100 000 to a suitable non-governmental organisation.

The complaint laid by the HRC has its foundations in an “open letter” President Jacob Zuma’s son wrote last year in which he attacked Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan.

READ MORE: Edward Zuma — Gordhan’s ‘crew of smurfs’ on tour to degrade ANC leaders

He subsequently apologised but the commission was not satisfied.

“He only apologised to Hanekom, Gordhan and the ANC,” chairperson Bongani Majola said in his complaint filed with the court.


“We bring this application in the public interest.

“We have noted with concern an increase in the number of complaints we have received over the past four years relating to hate speech.

“It is in the public interest for the court to pronounce on the phenomenon, which appears to be gaining momentum and threatens to undermine the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights in South Africa,” he said.

‘Public outrage’

In the “open letter” – which Majola claims was widely reported in the media and social media and elicited “public outrage” — Zuma describes Hanekom and Gordhan as an “anti majoritarian sell-out minority in the ANC who have brazenly and unabashedly spoken out against (President) Zuma on various white monopoly media platforms”.

He said Hanekom “was no better than a vile dog trained to maul our black skin” and labelled him an askari. Gordhan, he said, was one of the most corrupt cadres who, as Gandhi, “sees black South Africans as low class k……s”.

Majola said the use of the word askari “reveals a denigration with an orientation and/or threat of violence”.

The attack on Gordhan sent a message “that the South African Indian community has grown economically through deceit and stealth and subjugation of African people”.

In a brief response, Zuma merely notes many of the allegations but says the commission must prove that there was public outrage at the letter.

He also says the allegations of hate speech are merely Majola’s “personal opinion”.

“The applicant has no case sound in law. The matter should be dismissed with costs.”

Equality Court Magistrate Irfaan Khallil has set the matter down for a (pre-trial) directions hearing next week. However, the commission has asked for more time to file a further affidavit. — News24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: George Euvrard, the brains behind our cryptic crossword

George Euvrard spoke to Athandiwe Saba about his passion for education, clues on how to solve his crosswords and the importance of celebrating South Africa.

Poachers in prisons tell their stories

Interviews with offenders provide insight into the structure of illegal wildlife trade networks

More top stories

No one should be as rich as Elon Musk

The reactions to Elon Musk’s billionaire status are evidence that far too many South Africans have not fully grasped the destructive consequences of inequality. Entrepreneur...

Department of basic education edges closer to releasing matric results

The basic education department has said that it is almost done with the marking process and that the capturing of marks is in progress.

The rare fairytale of Percy Tau

Through much hard work and a bit of good fortune, the South African attacker has converted a potential horror story into magic

Somali troops may have been drawn into Ethiopia’s civil war

The Mail & Guardian spoke to Somalis about their relatives who disappeared after signing up for military training and fear they may have been killed
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…