‘Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill 2016’ – Violation of Free Speech

Front National

The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, 2016 was approved by cabinet and is now open for public comment. Once this process is finished, if no significant objections were raised, the Bill will pass Parliament.

Front National is extremely concerned about the implications of this Bill, even more so because of the reluctance of groups and individuals to object to it. “Hate speech” and “racism” is a very wide concept and leaves a lot of room for interpretation. What one person might regard as free speech, another might use as excuse to prosecute that person. And let us be realistic: This Bill is not going to be used against the Malemas and Zumas. This Bill is going to be used against the white man voicing his opinion on Twitter and Facebook.

The main provisions of the Bill are:

“4. (1) (a) Any person who intentionally, by means of any communication whatsoever, communicates to one or more persons in a manner that –advocates hatred towards any other person or group of persons; or

(ii) is threatening, abusive or insulting towards any other person or group of persons, and which demonstrates a clear intention, having regard to all the circumstances, to –

(aa) incite others to harm any person or group of persons, whether or not such person or group of persons is harmed; or

(bb) stir up violence against, or bring into contempt or ridicule, any person or group of persons, based on race, gender, sex, which includes intersex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, belief, culture, language, birth, disability, HIV status, nationality, gender identity, albinism or occupation or trade, is guilty of the offence of hate speech.”

It is in fact so preposterous and in violation of free speech, that the media should be ablaze with indignation. Yet, they focus on the State Capture Report while smuggling through this Bill. AND WE NEED TO NOTE THAT IT IS A BILL WHICH WILL NOT LAND US WITH A CLOSING OF A FACEBOOK PAGE, YOU WILL BE CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED AND LOCKED AWAY. This a draconian measure which reminds of the persecution of free speech under Communism and Dictatorships. The crucial aspect of the bill is that it bars speech which ridicules, rather than actually harms people. This is coupled with bizarre victim categories such as occupation and language. This bill could effectively make lawyer jokes a punishable offence.

There is a limited time frame of basically twelve days in which objections can be made against the bill. Front National is currently in consultation with legal experts on constitutional law on which options are available to try and stop or amend the process. We have also called together a group of representatives of organised groups, political parties and informal forums on the social media to establish a co-operation between all to address this issue.

In the meantime we wish to call on all our supporters and readers of this page to submit your objection to the Bill without hesitation by following this link and following the steps indicated at the bottom of the page.


Daniel Lötter

SOURCEFront National