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Banning apartheid flag would be unlawful - AfriForum

AfriForum argued in court that the law only prohibits hate speech which refers to words and not symbols.

A screengrab of the Equality Court hearing arguments from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and AfriForum on the banning of the old South African flag. Picture: YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Lobby group AfriForum said the Equality Court would be acting unlawfully if it were to ban the display of the apartheid national flag.

AfriForum argued in court that the law only prohibits hate speech which refers to words and not symbols.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has taken the case to court, arguing the old flag should be declared hate speech under the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

But AfriForum’s lawyer Mark Oppenheimer said banning the flag would go against the Constitution.

“AfriForum’s point is not that it ought to be banned, the point is that people express different views in society that you tolerate, that you can say ‘I think waving that flag despicable, repulsive and offensive and I will fight to the death for your right to do it’. Because that’s what it’s like to live in a modern democracy, we respect these differences.”

The case is set to continue on Tuesday.

Watch Monday's court proceedings: