The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has found that comments made by EFF leader Julius Malema about race do not legally qualify as hate speech.
Senior Legal Officer at SAHRC, Osmond Mngomezulu says there were four complaints against Malema and one against an EFF party member since 2016.
Each complaint was considered separately on its owns merit, he says.
The tricky part is that we are dealing with constitutional rights. We have a right to dignity, the right to equality as well as the right to freedom of expression.— Osmond Mngomezulu, Senior Legal Officer - SAHRC
Where one's expression may have effects on someone's dignity and equality, those are the kinds of balances that courts, including the commission, constantly have to strike a balance on based on the facts available.— Osmond Mngomezulu, Senior Legal Officer - SAHRC
In this context, we could not find whether there was hate speech so we are releasing the findings based on the complaints lodged as well what the law says.— Osmond Mngomezulu, Senior Legal Officer - SAHRC
Mngomezulu says if the complainants are not happy with the findings, the decisions of the commission are reviewable in the court of law.
To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below: