CCR slams state's attempt to criminalise hate speech as unconstitutional

The bill, which proposes the statutory criminal offence of hate speech, is a much-improved version of its 2016 predecessor.

Picture: TheCFCR/Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) says the state's attempt to criminalise hate speech is flawed and unconstitutional.

Last week, the window closed for written submissions on the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill to Parliament's portfolio committee on justice and correctional services.

The bill, which proposes the statutory criminal offence of hate speech, is a much-improved version of its 2016 predecessor.

However, the centre's Christine Botha said the current offence of hate speech still poses a serious threat to the right to freedom of expression.

She said: “The Centre for Constitutional Rights made a written submission of 15 February. The bill proposes for the statutory criminal offence of hate crime and hate speech. Even though it is a much-imporved version of the 2016 bill, the current understanding of hate speech does not relate to hate speech as according to our Constitution."

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)