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Draft Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill

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Draft Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill

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The Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Bill, in its report to Parliament on 21 January 2000, adopted a resolution in which the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development was, among others, requested to give consideration to the following:

(a) Tabling legislation in Parliament which deals with the criminalisation of hate speech.  Such measures must be consistent with section 16 of the Constitution and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.  In addition, such legislation, needless to say, will also be required to create offences
relating to hate speech.

(b) Taking any other measures that may be necessary to give effect to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to the extent that these have not been dealt with in this or other relevant legislation. 

The objects of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (Act 4 of 2000), are, among others, to provide for measures to facilitate the eradication of unfair discrimination, hate speech and harassment, particularly on the grounds of race, gender and disability.  Section 10 of the Act specifically prohibits hate speech.  The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which South Africa is a signatory, requires States Parties to declare, among others, the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred a punishable offence. The attached draft Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill, which criminalises hate speech, gives effect to the provisions relating to hate speech contained in the above-mentioned Act and Convention.

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