Founder of Diversi-T, Terry Oakley-Smith, says the judicial system and law enforcement agencies need to be educated about racism and hate speech.
Smith says the law, while useful, will not make a great difference to addressing racism, and education is key.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha has announced that a proposed bill to help combat hate crimes and hate speech is now open for public comment.
We need to dig down far deeper. We need to look at educating people from the time they start school - what is hate speech and what is prejudice.— Terry Oakley-Smith, Diversi-T founder
The law says if someone is found guilty of hate speech they can receive a prison sentence of up to ten years.
She says alternatives such as community service may well serve a far better purpose than prison time. She suggests diversity and anti-racism training programmes for first time offenders.
Sending somebody to jail in isolation will not bring the kind of change in attitude and behavior and might intensify attitude and behavior.— Terry Oakley-Smith, Diversi-T founder
Listen to audio below as Terry Oakley-Smith explains why more than a Hate Speech Bill is needed to get rid of systematic racism: