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Mar 14 2018

South Africa’s Hate Bill Takes Tyranny to New Extremes

Taken to its logical conclusion, political correctness is a form of tyranny more insanely repressive than anything dreamt of by Stalin. If you doubt it, consider the hate speech law that is about to hit the country born of political correctness, post-Apartheid South Africa:

The Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill (let’s call it the Hate Bill) is currently before Cabinet, and once approved, will be tabled in Parliament.

“Hate” is already against the law in South Africa. But not like it will be.

The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (Equality Act) already prohibits and criminalises hate speech. The Hate Bill goes much further, however, criminalising even petty insults and hand gestures, and imposing lengthy jail terms even on first offenders.

The new bill extends the grounds for hate speech to race, gender, sex (including intersex), ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, belief, culture, language, birth, disability, HIV status, nationality, gender identity, albinism, and occupation or trade.

South Africa has a constitution; Ruth Bader Ginsburg prefers it to the one she is sworn to uphold. But it may not be much defense against the Hate Bill.

The Constitution, in section 16 of the Bill of Rights, states that freedom of expression “does not extend to advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm”.

In 2002, the Constitutional Court ruled that no law can extend the definition of hate speech beyond what it says in the Constitution.

This means that the Equality Act already contravenes the Constitution, by extending grounds for hate speech to race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth; or anything else that could perpetuate systemic disadvantage, undermine human dignity, or adversely affect the equal enjoyment of a person’s rights and freedoms in a serious manner that is comparable to discrimination on one of the listed grounds.

That’s a big jump, from “incitement to cause harm” to “adversely affect the equal enjoyment of blah blah blah.”

But if people are going to start being sticklers and insist that laws be constitutional, the Constitution can be changed, like they are doing to allow confiscation of property from whites without compensation. If Ramaphosa et al. will steal the farm that has been in your family for generations and leave you penniless, they certainly won’t hesitate to throw you in jail for being insensitive.

The Hate Bill also explicitly criminalises not only public communication of hate speech, but also private messages, and even gestures and bodily expressions that could be interpreted as insulting. If you flip the bird at someone, you’re up on charges. If you recoil at the touch of a gay person, because they are gay, you’re guilty of hate speech. If you make an expression of disgust at a police officer, it’s off to jail you go.

And jail it will be. The Hate Bill imposes extraordinarily harsh penalties upon offenders. A first-time hate speech offender could get a fine, three years in prison, or both. A second-time offender could face ten years in prison.

Basic liberty or “social justice.” Take your pick; you can’t have both.

On a tip from ABC of the ANC.



One Response to “South Africa’s Hate Bill Takes Tyranny to New Extremes”

  1. […] noted earlier, soon any sort of speech or even nonverbal cues that could conceivably be construed as […]

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