Racists to face jail time as bill tabled in Parliament

The Prevention of Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill has now been tabled in Parliament.

Convicted racist appears in the Randburg magistrates court on 4 April 2018. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Jail time will become the norm for those who use racial slurs or commit hate crimes.

The Prevention of Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill has now been tabled in Parliament.

The introduction of the draft law is particularly poignant given the recent case of Vicki Momberg who was last month sentenced to two years in jail for using a racial slur against a police officer.

After first being introduced in October 2016, more than 75,000 public submissions were received on the Prevention of Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill.

Cabinet gave the revised bill the green light last month.

It makes provision for jail sentences for those who commit verbal and physical attacks which are found to be racist or hateful.

A person convicted of a hate crime can be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment for up to three years.

Human rights groups have, however, raised concerns about the bill, saying that it could impact on the freedom of speech and media freedom.

The bill will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice Committee before being passed on to the House for approval.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)