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Transforming Society

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Restoring Dignity

SAHRC appalled by social media comments on school tragedy

05 February 2019

The SouthAfrican Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Tuesday it was appalled by inappropriate comments on social media about the Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy.
Spokesperson, Gail Smith, said the comments apparently made by Black First Land First (BLF)secretary and spokesperson, Lindsay Maasdorp and others, were insensitive, offensive, inappropriate and do not align with the ideals and aspirations of our constitutional democracy."
Last week, four pupils were killed and more than 20 others injured when a walkway at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijl Park collapsed.
Smith said while the Commission recognises that free speech was a constitutionally protected right, it should be exercised in a way that does not infringe on the right to human dignity or on any other rights protected by the Constitution.

"The right to free speech should be exercised responsibly. The death of children, irrespective of race, social class, colour, culture, or custom, is a tragedy.”
Smith said as of mid-day Tuesday the SAHRC had received approximately 80 complaints related to comments made on social media regarding the Driehoek tragedy.  
"The commission will be approaching the Equality Court for relief on utterances allegedly made by Maasdorp and will be assessing the merits of each of the other complaints received before deciding on a course of action," she said.

Source: African News Agency (ANA)

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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