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Legislation to deal with racism, hate speech on the cards

Justice Minister Michael Masutha says South Africans have to act against all forms of intolerance.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Justice Minister Michael Masutha says legislation to deal with racism and hate speech in particular will be introduced soon.

The move is a response to a spate of racist utterances on social media that have raised political temperatures.

Masutha was speaking during debate on his R18 billion justice and constitutional development budget in the National Assembly this afternoon.

The minister says the draft bill's provisions have been expanded to include hate speech.

He told the National Assembly that South Africans have to act against all forms of intolerance to consolidate South Africa's democracy.

"In this spirit we must all rise to deal with all forms of intolerance to consolidate our democracy. As a department, we will soon introduce legislation which will address racism and, in particular, hate speech."

Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery told Eyewitness News the draft legislation will be introduced to Parliament within a matter of weeks.