On dignity and atonement

CATEGORY: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery
DATE: 24 April 2018
AUTHOR: IOL News

THE Vicki Momberg conviction was historic. For the first time in SA history, a person was convicted on hate speech and sentenced to prison for the crime of crimen injuria.

Media outlets worldwide showed the video clip in which she verbally abused police officers in 2016. Media outlets such as Al Jazeera showed viewers instances of other racist incidents in South Africa, the most disturbing of which was the case of the two white farmers who stuffed a black man into a coffin and threatened to set him on fire.

But this is not the first time the ANC has tried to criminalise hate speech. In 2016, in the heat of the controversy over racist speech triggered by statements made by Penny Sparrow, the ANC proposed legislation to criminalise hate speech. The wisdom of enacting such legislation is highly debatable.

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