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Equality Court to rule on old SA flag, BLF hate speech matter

In the first, judgment will be handed down on whether gratuitous displays of the old South African flag constitute hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment based on race.

BLF leader Andile Mngxitama at the BLF manifesto launch in Soweto. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Equality Court will on Wednesday hear two separate cases relating to hate speech.

In the first, judgment will be handed down on whether gratuitous displays of the old South African flag constitute hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment based on race.

The complaint was lodged by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

They did so after reports emerged that the flag, which was adopted by the apartheid regime, was displayed during Black Monday protests against farm murders in 2017.

AfriForum, which opposes the virtual banning of the flag, argued that displays of the flag did not constitute hate speech.

Meanwhile, the Black First Land First (BLF) was also being hauled back to court in connection with another hate speech case.

Today and Thursday, the court will hear the case brought by AfriForum which lodged a complaint against BLF leader Andile Mngxitama.

He was quoted last year calling for the murder of white people while addressing a rally in Potchefstroom.

AfriForum's Ernst Roets: "We believe that this is a clear example of hate speech, if any, and we expect the Equality Court will agree with us."

Mngxitama, who is expected to represent himself, is not fazed: "They are terrified of Black First Land First because they know we are the representatives of black people and if Black First Land First gets to the hearts of our people, gets into Parliament, we will be ale to address the land question."

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