South Africa: National Assembly Passes Bill to Criminalise Hate Speech and Hate Crimes

Cape Town — The National Assembly has finally passed the bill introduced five years ago that would criminalise hate speech and hate crimes Eyewitness News reports.

The bill was passed despite fierce debate and concerns from some opposition parties that it could impact the freedom of speech. Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery said that existing laws had proven ineffective in stemming what he believed to be an increase in crimes motivated by hate.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), Freedom Front Plus, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), and Al Jama-ah have continued to voice their opposition towards a new law aimed at criminalising hate crimes. The DA’s Janho Engelbrecht said that he believed that the African National Congress was motivated by a political agenda. The Al Jama-ah political party’s Ganief Hendricks said he believed that the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill targeted a specific group of people.


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