South Africa invites public opinion for proposed anti-racism bill

Cape Town: The South African Parliament on Friday invited public opinion for the introduction of an anti-racism bill, aimed at curbing hate crime in the country.

The South African government has accelerated the process to criminalise the offence under the “Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill.” The Parliament, in a statement, said stakeholders and interested persons are welcome to submit written submissions on the bill, Xinhua reported.

The anti-racism bill aims to provide for serious offence of hate crime and hate speech and prosecution of persons who commit these offences, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee chairperson Madipoane Mothapo said.

The last date for submitting written submissions is January 31, 2019. People wishing to make a verbal presentation of their ideas should intimate the authorities.

“The purpose of the bill is, among other things, to give effect to the obligations in terms of the Constitution and international human rights instruments concerning racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance in accordance with international law obligations. It will also provide for the prevention of hate crimes and hate speech, and the reporting on the implementation, application, and administration of this bill,” Mothabo elaborated.

Lawmakers have repeatedly urged the need to introduce a legislation to criminalise racism to ensure an all-inclusive and equal society.

The discussion on the proposed bill comes five months after a black man was lynched by several white men in a suspected racist attack in Middelburg, Mpumalanga Province.