AfriForum to lay charges of hate speech and incitement against NMF

AfriForum has instructed its legal team to prepare criminal charges of incitement to violence against the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), under Section 18 of the Riotous Assemblies Act 17 of 1956, as well as a charge of hate speech in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000.

This follows the NMF’s media statement of 10 June 2020 on the death of George Floyd in the United States and the related protests. In its statement the NMF notes: “The use of violence can be rational and carefully targeted as part of a strategy to counter structural and other forms of violence against Black lives. And, of course, it ought always to be so.”

“This disturbing statement by the NMF is a clear glorification of and incitement to violence. It indicates that the NMF believes it can justify ‘targeted’ acts of violence, depending on who the targets of this violence are, without having to face any consequences. Violent threats of this nature have no place in any society, and the fact that an organisation of the NMF’s status can so nonchalantly publish a justification of violent means is very troubling and telling,” says Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum.

AfriForum also submitted a complaint of hate speech against the NMF to the Equality Court.

According to Roets, AfriForum views the justification and incitement of violence by the NMF as very dangerous and reckless. “AfriForum will therefore take the necessary steps to ensure justice in this case through proper legal channels. We urge the authorities to treat this case of incitement of violence by the NMF with the serious action that it deserves, to send a strong message about the unacceptability of inciting violence,” Roets concludes.

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