The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill provides for offences related to several forms of discrimination, including those on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and nationality. The bill was originally drafted with only hate crime in mind. However, in response to the recent increase in hate speech incidents, especially on social media platforms, the department of Justice and Constitutional Development made the decision to include a hate speech provision. The bill, through the criminalisation of hate speech and hate crime, intends to ensure greater alignment between practice and constitutional provisions that protect vulnerable groups. It will not only enforce harsher sentencing and larger fines, but will also implement educational and sensitivity training programmes for both the public and public service staff as a means of making its effect felt on a grass roots level.
The Southern African Liaison Office in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Open Society Foundation for South Africa will host a dialogue on the ‘Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill’. The dialogue seeks to explore whether the Bill will be effective in addressing some of the systematic hate crimes plaguing South Africa.
Date: 23 February 2017
Venue: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg
- Hon John Jeffery, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
- Ms Roshan Dadoo, Director, Regional Advocacy Officer, Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA)
- Mr Katlego Rasebitse, Advocacy Liaison Officer, Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)
- Ms Corlett Letlojane, Executive Director of the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)