Unpacking the Equality Court: The case of Penny Sparrow

Penny Sparrow who was fined R150 000 for her racist tweets. Xolani Gwala talks to Graphney Seleka, Senior State Law Advisor at Justice Department about the role of the Equality Court.

Seleka says outcomes may differ depending on which court hears the case.

Two chapter 9 institutions are mandated to assist with implementing the Equality Act, the Human Rights Commission and the Commission For gender Equality

Graphney Seleka, Senior State Law Advisor at Justice Department

The sanctions are varied says Seleka.

It can be an apology, or like this case it can be an award...or in cases the court can tell a group to change their policy.

Graphney Seleka, Senior State Law Advisor at Justice Department

A group of people are allegedly fundraising for Penny Sparrow to assist her in paying the fine.

They are within their rights.

Graphney Seleka, Senior State Law Advisor at Justice Department

Seleka says the intention of the Equality Court is to send a message that the behaviour is wrong, and not really to punish the offender. It is not a criminal matter, but rather a civil one.

The award money does not go to the complainant in a case. It goes to bodies that further the work of human rights.

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