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:


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