- The equality court has ruled that the public display of the apartheid flag constitutes hate speech
- In his ruling, Judge Mojapelo called the flag "hurtful and harmful"
- He added that those who displayed the flag were siding with oppression over liberation
The equality court ruled on Tuesday that public display of the old South African 'apartheid' flag is banned.
This comes after the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African Human Rights Commission filed an application to have the image declared hate speech.
But what exactly does this mean?
Judge Mojapelo said that the public display of the apartheid flag "constituted hate speech, harassment and unfair discrimination in terms of the Equality Act", according to News24.
He added that the display of the image was "hurtful and harmful" and that those who display it are siding with "oppression over liberation".
However, Mojapelo stressed that the court was not issuing an outright ban on the flag. Rather, he said the judgement is a "carefully guided prohibition".
So what were the arguments on either side regarding the flag?
The argument put forward in favour of banning the flag is that it is an image which represents a dark era in South African history and specifically cruel treatment towards people of colour, according to The South African.
As a result, critics of the flag say that to display it in public amounts to hate speech - an argument which Mojapelo has endorsed. The Nelson Mandela Foundation, for example, asked that the flag be confined only to education spaces, such as museums.
The counterargument put forward by lobby group AfriForum, among others, is that while the flag is offensive, it would infringe on free speech to ban the flag, News24 has reported.
Mojapelo dismissed this argument and called on AfriForum to uphold its promise to help build an inclusive South Africa.
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