SA has mixed reaction to SAHRC's Julius Malema hate speech ruling

SA has mixed reaction to SAHRC's Julius Malema hate speech ruling

- The reaction to the SAHRC's ruling that Julius Malema's comments were not hate speech has been mixed

- The Freedom of Expression Institute accepted the decision

- AfriForum, however, has said that they will be challenging the ruling

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Public opinion has been divided over the SA Human Rights Commission's ruling that Julius Malema's comments about white and Indian people did not amount to hate speech.

The commission had received complaints about Malema's statement that Indians in KwaZulu-Natal mistreated black people, as well as his comment that he was not calling for the killing of white people "for now".

The EFF was pleased by the ruling but lobby group, AfriForum, has said it will be taking legal action over the decision.

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However, the Freedom of Expression Institution has said that they accept the ruling, as well as the commission's explanation that historical context played a role in determining hate speech.

However, the commission's consideration of historical context also divided the public, particularly on social media where several public figures weighed in on it. 

The journalist, Ferial Haffajee, for example, opined that the ruling "says your relative degree of past oppression determines your present right to dignity - so if Indians were less oppressed, they have lower rights to dignity today".

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However, according to Eyewitness News, AfriForum has said that the ruling condones hate speech, adding that Malema's comments were an "incitement to violence".

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