[LISTEN] No laughing matter: Hate speech bill could land comedians in jail

Comedian John Vlismas has raised concerns over the proposed Prevention & Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech bill.

South African comedian John Vlismas. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – John Vlismas is amongst a group of South African comedians who are concerned about censoring and possible jail time, in light of a new bill proposed by Justice Minister Michael Masutha.

Speaking to 702's John Robbie, Vlismas says The Proposed Prevention & Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill is vague and may entail that comics avoid certain topics which serve as content.

Part of the proposed bill stipulates a 10-year sentence for persons convicted on various offences, which include showing prejudice, bias or intolerance on the basis of race, gender or sex – including intersex – as well as ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, religion, belief, culture, language, birth, disability, HIV status, nationality, gender identity, albinism and occupation or trade.