AfriForum charges 12 people criminally for inciting violence and murder

The civil rights organisation AfriForum this morning brought criminal charges against 12 individuals who repeatedly posted racist messages on social media that incited violence and murder. The affidavits, which were prepared with the assistance of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and criminal law expert Dr Llewellyn Curlewis, contain extensive reports on these 12 individuals and the statements that they had made.

“There seems to be a general misconception that whatever you say on social media is somehow acceptable and will remain without consequences. Public outrage and media cover is somehow reserved for or limited to a few cases. We therefore invited the public to provide us with screenshots of hate speech, racism and incitement to violence. The response was overwhelming,” says Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum.

AfriForum requested the SAPS to investigate these 12 individuals without delay, to verify their identity in connection to the social media account used and to charge them with the applicable offence. To assist in the process, AfriForum asked the SAPS to provide feedback on a regular basis and also offered any assistance the organisation may be able to provide.

“We are concerned about the intensity of some of the messages and screenshots that we received. Unlike other cases, which received substantial attention in the media and which mostly revolved around racist slurs, many of the screenshots that we received are calls to arms and requests or calls to kill or harm people. We are worried that, despite their more severe nature, these cases have to date not been dealt with or condemned in the same manner,” says Roets.

AfriForum intends to lodge more complaints, depending on the outcome of the first 12 cases. We therefor invite the public to continue sending examples of racism, hate speech and incitement to violence to

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