Slide background
Slide background

Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

DA parliamentarian Dianne Kohler Barnard has lodged a hate speech complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding social media posts calling for the killing of white farmers and land grabs.

10 July 2020

Durban - DA parliamentarian Dianne Kohler Barnard has lodged a hate speech complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) regarding social media posts calling for the killing of white farmers and land grabs.
Barnard said the DA had referred at least six social media posts, which “seemingly glorify farm murders and attacks” to the SAHRC for an investigation into hate speech.  

“A fortnight ago, the DA undertook, as part of our 16 action steps in terms of our rural security strategy, to report what we believe to be hate speech, or hate crimes, to relevant authorities for investigation. This includes the reporting and charging of those on social media, or any other platform, who glorify the torture and murder that has become the hallmark of rural attacks,” Barnard said.
SAHRC spokesperson Gushwell Brookes said the complaint was in the process of being assigned to a provincial or national department in the organisation.
“The DA views these posts as abhorrent and those who post them must be held to account for their vitriolic and hateful utterances,” Kohler Barnard said.

“Hate crimes are not simply crimes committed against vulnerable groups; they are in fact crimes committed against individuals because of prejudice that the perpetrator holds against an entire group of people, but directed at an available victim,” she said.
“Research indicates that there is a direct correlation between hate speech - frequently spoken or sung by political leaders - and an immediate increase in rural attacks, which are frequently accompanied by the most terrible torture.
“Indeed, there is a marked increase in these instances during which men, women or children of all races are attacked, immediately after such utterances are publicised,” she said.

Kohler Barnard said a government commission of inquiry into farm attacks in 2001 had found that attacks were “overwhelmingly robberies, with virtually no political motive or hatred shown.”
“It seems either that the outcome of the inquiry was itself a political statement, or that a new inquiry is needed as a matter of urgency,” she said.
Violence monitor and analyst Mary de Haas, who was on the 2001 committee and wrote almost half of the 300 page report said hate speech should be condemned regardless of whether it was white against black or vice versa.

However, she said farm attacks and murders were an extension of rural crime that resulted in the killing of far more black people than white farmers.
“We did a complete literature survey. We looked at data bases of cases, and interviewed the families and investigating officer. There was about a 75% rate in solving those cases because there was a high priority unit investigating and in most murders you get 10% solved.
“There was no indication at all of political motivation. We took every piece of information we could lay our hands on, we even interviewed the guys who had done it. They were mainly petty criminals who had moved on to bigger crimes,” she said.
She said there were “guns galore” available in rural areas.
“Hate speech is to be condemned whether it is about white people or about black people and there must be censure on it because we don’t want to make the situation in South Africa more volatile.
“It is inflammatory when you go around saying ‘kill the boer kill the farmer’, and that should be dealt with. That sort of thing is just contributing to racial polarisation,” she said.
Independent political analyst Ralph Matheka said it was a “sensitive issue” as people were frustrated with crime, but there was more solidarity between black people and white farmers in rural areas on the ground than there was in policy.

Source: IOL

The South African Human Rights Commission.

Follow the SAHRC

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)

Sign- up for our monthly Pfanelo newsletter