PRETORIA TO PUBLISH HATE CRIMES, HATE SPEECH BILL FOR PUBLIC COMMENT

South Africa is to publish the proposed Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill for public comment, says Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe.

“The bill seeks to create the offences of hate crimes and hate speech, and to put in place measures to prevent and combat these offences,” he said when briefing the media following the Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting here Thursday.

“The aim is to address the increasing number of racial incidents and to further address other types of criminal conduct motivated by bias, prejudice or intolerance in the form of hate crimes and hate speech, which have occurred recently.”

The move is also in line with the country’s National Development Plan, which highlights the need for sustained campaigns against racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia and which also seeks to ensure that all people are safe, and feel safe.

In August, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, in its national statement in introduction of the South African periodic report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva, said the country had seen an increase in the manifestation of hate speech and hate crimes.

The Bill makes hate crimes and hate speech an offence. For example, a hate crime is committed if a person commits any recognized offence that is a common law or statutory offence and the commission of that offence is motivated by unlawful bias, prejudice or intolerance.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.