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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Media Statement: SAHRC to Release of its Findings on Alleged Hate Speech by Mr Julius Malema and other Members of the EFF

 Attention: Editors and Reporters

22nd March 2019

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC or Commission) will be releasing its findings on the consolidated complaints of alleged hate speech uttered by Mr Julius Malema and other members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The Commission will release findings and recommendations and directives on these matters and discuss the findings in the context of hate speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press.  The findings will be released in an extended press conference/seminar in which the Commission will attempt to address the complaints and the alleged rights violations in a comprehensive manner, unpacking and engaging the media on the complexities of the legal principles which determine whether an utterance qualifies as hate speech.

Section 16 of the Bill of Rights, Chapter Two of the Constitution, is the founding provision for the right to freedom of expression. The right to freedom of expression is not an absolute right does not extend to propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. The enabling legislation of the limitation of this right is in turn expanded in section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000 (PEPUDA). The seminar will explore the meaning of hate speech in the light of section 10 of PEPUDA and related case law.

While the Commission prepares for the seminar intended for next week, it bears in mind that South Africa will be holding national elections on 08 May 2019 and that political parties are engaged in their campaigns which are often accompanied by robust speeches. Robust political debate and statements require protection within a constitutional democracy. However, the Commission urges political parties and their leaders to ensure that they exercise due regard and responsible care when addressing supporters or making political statements. 

The press conference/seminar on hate speech will take place on the Wednesday 27th March 2019, from 9.30 – 12.00pm. 

Venue: SAHRC Main Boardroom

             Braampark Office Park

             33 Hoofd Street



Click here for the programme.


Released by the South African Human Rights Commission

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The South African Human Rights Commission.

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About us

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)

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