'We need strong laws so that we hold those who are racists accountable'

Former Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chair and information regulator, advocate Pansy Tlakula, has been elected to serve on the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Read: Former IEC chair warns winning party against failure to fulfil promises

Tlakula speaks to Bongani Bingwa about her new role.

In 1995, I was a member of the South African Human Rights Commission, designated to deal with issues of racism and racial discrimination and that has always been my passion. So when I was approached to consider this position, I thought I can use this as my last contribution to my pension.

Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - United Nations

Tlakula says in order to make strides in curbing racism, there needs to be a multi-pronged approached.

We have to change the hearts and minds of people, and we have been trying to do that for a long time in this country. Coupled with that, there have to be laws that will ensure that racists are locked away because we have been talking for a long time and yet, we see racism in the country rearing its ugly head.

Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - United Nations

The Hate Speech Bill that is in Parliament is what many countries require, she believes.

We have to use instruments that we have to ensure that we hold those who utter racist speeches accountable. For as long as there are human beings, there will always be racism, the question is how do we manage it. We need strong laws so that we hold those who are racists accountable.

Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - United Nations

Listen below to the full interview:


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