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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Media Advisory: SAHRC - Free State Provincial Office will be conducting Equality Court workshop for the South African Police Services in Bloemfontein 

Attention: Editors and Reporters

27 October 2021

Since the famous hate speech case of July 2008 by Jonathan Qwelane, a prominent South African journalist, whose article titled, “Call me names – but gay is NOT okay,” wrote “[t]he real problem, as I see it, is the rapid degradation of values and traditions by the so-called liberal influences of nowadays; you regularly see men kissing other men in public, walking holding hands and shamelessly flaunting what have misleadingly termed their ‘lifestyle’ and ‘sexual preferences”. Moreover, to the not so recent cases of Adam Catzavelos posting a video of himself on a Greek beach where he expressed his joy at not seeing a single black person and uses the K-word, and Penny Sparrow whose denunciation about rubbish on a beach compared black revellers to monkeys, many people started to show interest in the Equality matters, especially in big cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town. However, in small cities such as Bloemfontein, many people still have to be encouraged to use such courts.  There are sectors of society that still need to be conscientised about matters relating to equality courts.

The Equality Courts’ purpose is to decide matters precisely relating to violations of the right to equality, hate speech, and unfair discrimination, with a view towards eliminating the effects of apartheid which basically divided the country along gender, racial and economic class. The casual nature of proceedings in Equality Courts, in addition to the fact that many CSOs and Human Rights Organisations are prepared to support Complainants in prosecuting their claims, makes the Equality Courts a viable resource within which disenfranchised Complainants may pursue redress.

Many of these Complaints usually have elements of Crimen Injuria, hate speech and/ordiscrimination. Unfortunately police officials at service centres usually struggle with separating these elements, as such they do not refer parts of complaints to the Commission or other institutions like Commission for Gender Equality (CGE).

In line with the above, the FSPO will be conducting a workshop where a number of South African Police Services Officials will be trained, so as to ensure that equality matters do not continue to go underreported.

The training details are as follows:

 

  • Date:         28 October 2021
  • Venue:      Bobbiespark
  • Time:        08h30 - 13h00

 

ENDS-

For further information or enquiries, please contact; SAHRC FS Provincial Manager, Mr. Thabang Kheswa on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or FS Advocacy and Research Officer, Mr. Lecholo Nkabiti on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 051 447 1130/081 349 7860.

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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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.

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