The Southern African Liaison Office together with the Embassy of Ireland hosted a multi-stakeholder dialogue on the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. The case of Penny Sparrow, who was charged for hate speech in 2016 reaffirmed the need for the Bill to be adopted. Courtesy #DStv403
Date: Tuesday 20th November 2018, 9H00 – 12H00
Venue: 6 Spin Street, Cape Town CBD (near Parliament)
Click on the videos below to view SABC reports from our workshop:
Chair: Tawanda Sachikonye, SALO
Opening Remarks: Marissa van Rensburg, SALO
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Deputy Minister John Jeffery, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
- Funeka Soldaat: Founder of Khayelitsha-based lesbian advocacy group, Free Gender
- Judith Mukuna: Refugee rights activist, Scalabrini Centre
- Prof. Tim Murithi: Head, Peacebuilding Interventions, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
Bishop Rubin Phillip, Co-Chair: KwaZulu-Natal Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration council; Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Natal; Former Dean of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; Chair of the SALO board
SALO would like to thank the Royal Norwegian Embassy
for their direct support for this event
The passing away of a Mother
15 September 2018 | https://bit.ly/2OpOmwx
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa mourns the passing away of mama Wafieh, the 76 year-old mother of senior Palestinian BDS leader, Comrade Omar Barghouti.
In a moving, personal and powerful message, titled “on loss and faith,” Comrade Omar writes:
Before Israel imposed a travel ban on him, Comrade Omar had previously travelled to South Africa, where he met with several Government Ministers, MPs and other officials. Last year, at its 14th National Congress, the SACP conferred a special recognition award to Barghouti. We and fellow South African activists know comrade Omar personally, and as a stalwart in the struggle for justice for all Palestinians. We now learn (through his letter, found below) that he comes from a family of resistance against oppression and determination to secure their liberation.
In addition to our sadness at this deep personal loss, is our anger that the Israeli Apartheid regime prevented Comrade Omar the simple decency to visit his mother during her last days (in her fight against cancer, click here). Futhermore, stooping to a level of utter cruetly, Israel is now also denying Cde Omar permission to attend his mother’s funeral in Amman. He writes: “They are trying to punish me for my role as a human rights defender in the BDS movement for Palestinian rights. They think they will break me or deter me. Little do they know that this branch comes from that tree, and that tree has its strong roots deep in the fertile ground of Palestinian identity, Palestinian quest for justice and freedom, Palestinian resistance and Palestinian insistence on life that is worth living.”
There seems no limit to the indecency of the Israeli regime. Time and time again, Israel pushes the boundaries of the cruelty that they are capable of inflicting on the Palestinian people – a people who desire nothing but freedom and justice.
– Letter by Omar Barghouti on the passing away of his mother, Wafieh (14 September 2018)
Today, I experienced a personal Nakba. I am rarely broken, but today I am.
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa joins fellow South Africans in welcoming the South African government’s withdrawal of our Ambassador in Israel “with immediate effect”. Earlier this evening South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) issued a media release stating:
“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, which has led to the deaths of over 40 civilians. The victims were taking part in a peaceful protest…given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice.”
South Africa’s foreign policy agenda is due for a massive overhaul, with a possible return to the era of pan-African politics exemplified by former president Thabo Mbeki’s administration.
The department of international relations is attempting to reclaim South Africa’s position as a major influence on the continent by appointing a review panel to steer a new direction for the country’s foreign policy.
“The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.”
As an organization that strives to build international consensus to help resolve conflicts especially in Africa, SALO will continue to be guided and inspired by the life, dreams and words of Nelson Mandela.
To read our full tribute page click on the the link below:
The proposed hate crime and hate speech bill is a step towards combatting hate directed at vulnerable groups and ensuring alignment between practice and constitutional provisions.
South Africa was the first nation to clearly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution, the fifth to legalise same sex marriage, and a signatory of the first UN resolution affirming the rights of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people: all victories visible on the world stage. These are only a few, of many, examples of SA’s progressive LGBTI policies that have tried to improve the lives of those vulnerable to discrimination.
There has been a significant improvement in the state of LGBTI rights in SA since 1996. Nevertheless, given the history of LGBTI rights in SA, the bar from which we measure our progress is especially low. Whilst we can say that we are closer than we were in 1996 to achieving the aspirational goals of equality set out in our constitution, we cannot blind ourselves to the violent inequality that continues to pervade the lives of LGBTI persons living in SA.
In response to the high prevalence of violence and discrimination targeted at specific identity groups, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DJCD) has taken a great leap forward by drafting the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. The bill will allow for a judge to take prejudice, bias or intolerance into account as an aggravating factor when prosecuting a perpetrator.
Download PDF here: “LGBTI Rights and South Africa’s Proposed Hate Legislation”