DA submits hate speech complaint against Ace for ‘whitish-coloured people’ comments

DA submits hate speech complaint against Ace for ‘whitish-coloured people’ comments

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule on day 2 of former president Jacob Zuma's testimony at the State Capture Commision in Parktown, 16 July 2019. Picture Neil McCartney

Magashule called for all Africans to unite because ‘the whites don’t want Africa to come together’.

The DA submitted a complaint to the Equality Court on Wednesday against ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule for his comments about white foreigners last week.

The party has interpreted his words as hateful.

DA Free State legislature member Roy Jankielsohn said in a statement he had submitted his affidavit at the Equality Court in Bloemfontein with a request that the court look at instructing Ace Magashule and the ANC “to individually or jointly call a press conference in which they apologise unconditionally for the damage caused by branding white South African citizens as being foreigners who should be subjected to violence”.

He said that neither ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa nor the ANC itself, which had defined itself as non-racial in terms of the Freedom Charter, had made any statements condemning these racist comments.

He said that on Friday, Magashule delivered a speech at a South African Student Congress (Sasco) rally at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) amid the violence directed at foreign nationals from other African states in South Africa and, during his address, said: “…You must never despise people who have the same skin colour with us. Their colour, whether it’s people from Mozambique or Angola or Nigeria or anywhere in the 54 countries in Africa, you must know you are from Africa. Because there are many others with whitish colour – you don’t know them, they are there. You see them all the time, but you can’t say this one ke le kwerekwere (offensive term for foreigners), this one comes from somewhere else. They are here in this country. They have never been attacked and they are so-called foreigners because their colour is white. And you must understand why Africans must unite is because the whites don’t want Africa to come together…”

The DA says they considered this hate speech and incitement to commit violence against white people in terms of both the Equality Act (No. 4 of 2000) and Section 16 of the Constitution.

“I also regard the language as racist in nature. There can be no doubt that the purpose of the statement is to brand white South African citizens as being foreigners who should be subjected to similar violence as that which has been meted out to foreign nationals in South Africa recently. Furthermore, these statements are regarded as a deliberate attempt to make white South African citizens a target of contempt in the broader community.”

He added that it was “a shame” that Magashule had “abused an opportunity to address young people as a platform to propagate hate speech”.

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