Are our hate speech laws unconstitutional?

The legal counsel representing Jon Qwelane, Former ambassador to Uganda, believe the South African laws regulating hate speech are unconstitutional. Qwelane‚ is accused of propagating hatred his 2008 Sunday Sun column titled "Call me names‚ but Gay is NOT okay".

Sheniece Linderboom, Head of Law Clinic at the Freedom of Expression Institute says her organisation's is contesting the over broadness of Section 10 of the Equality Act in light of Section 16 of the Constitution.

She says the Equality Act speaks to any communication and it also includes the word 'hurtful', which they take concern with. Linderboom says it is on the Constitution we should base the right to freedom of expression.

We do accept what was stated in that article was terribly offensive

Sheniece Linderboom, Head of Law Clinic at the Freedom of Expression Institute

Linderboom adds that South African courts have accepted that being offensive is an accepted form of expression, whereas the Equality Act indicates that hateful speech is prohibited.

For the full interview listen to audio below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
 'There is no one way to approach racism' #TakeOnRacism

'There is no one way to approach racism' #TakeOnRacism

The Anti-Racism Network of South Africa's Sean Moodley talks about Anti-racism week which kicks off on Tuesday.

Equality Act under the microscope in 'gay is not okay' hate speech case

Equality Act under the microscope in 'gay is not okay' hate speech case

South African law will be scrutinised this week as a hate speech case about Jon Qwelane's 2008 anti-gay column continues in court.

Expert: There are already enough laws to regulate social media

Expert: There are already enough laws to regulate social media

Social media expert, Emma Sadlier responds to the security cluster's suggested plans to regulate the social media space.

Hate Speech Bill: Experts cite unconstitutional consequences

Hate Speech Bill: Experts cite unconstitutional consequences

Section 4 of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill may be too broad and could criminalise speech that does not qualify as hate speech.

Andre Slade to sue KZN govt, media for labelling him a racist

Andre Slade to sue KZN govt, media for labelling him a racist

The controversial Sodwana Bay Guest House owner branded black people as inferior to whites and refused to accommodate them.

Rondebosch High boys use K-word in freestyle prose

Rondebosch High boys use K-word in freestyle prose

Voice notes from Rondebosch Boys' High Whatsapp group have gone viral - with N-word and K-word used during a music session.

Justice Ministry extends deadline for comment on proposed hate crimes bill

Justice Ministry extends deadline for comment on proposed hate crimes bill

The decision to delay the deadline comes after various organisations asked for an extension to allow for submissions.

Adv Thuli Madonsela explains unconscious racism after Pta Girls High protest

Adv Thuli Madonsela explains unconscious racism after Pta Girls High protest

The Public Protector weighed in on the subject that has stirred rigorous debate this week, hair.

Jon Qwelane wants Equality Act declared unconstitutional

Jon Qwelane wants Equality Act declared unconstitutional

If the former newspaper columnist's application is successful, it would challenge a 2011 ruling that he was guilty of hate speech.

Unpacking the Equality Court: The case of Penny Sparrow

Unpacking the Equality Court: The case of Penny Sparrow

State Law Advisor says Equality Court is more about sending a message than punitive action.

Popular articles
[WATCH] Grootes's take on why EFF silent on Dlamini's SABC interview

[WATCH] Grootes's take on why EFF silent on Dlamini's SABC interview

702 Afternoon Drive host Stephen Grootes's comment involves past dealings that involve EFF national chair, Advocate Dali Mpofu.

This is how much you should be paying your domestic worker

This is how much you should be paying your domestic worker

Stephen Rathai, director of employment standards at the Department of Labour talks on the new national minimum wage.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

Why the PAC wants South Africa renamed Azania

Why the PAC wants South Africa renamed Azania

Pan Africanist Congress's Narius Moloto explains why it supports the name Azania, a word which he says has Arabic origins.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...