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SAHRC denies favouring black people when handling cases

Oppositions MPs accused them SAHRC of letting black offenders off the hook while vigorously investigating and punishing white people.

FILE: DA MP Werner Horn cited the case against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema as an example to back his claims against the SAHRC. Picture: @EFFSouthAfrica/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has denied it applied double standards when investigating incidents of hate speech and racism.

Opposition Members of Parliament took the Chapter Nine Institution to task on Tuesday when officials appeared before Parliament's justice committee.

They accused them of letting black offenders off the hook while vigorously investigating and punishing white people.

The Freedom Front Plus and the Democratic Alliance (DA) went after the SAHRC representatives accusing them of being lenient when black people are accused of hate speech while their white counterparts are heavily punished.

DA MP Werner Horn cited two examples to back his claims: the case against Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and ambassador to Denmark Zindzi Mandela, who were both found not guilty of hate speech after making remarks about white people.

“They said they would not be taking the Honourable Malema to the Equality Court for hate speech on the basis that he added the words ‘not yet’ when he threatened white people with mass killing.”

But the commission’s CEO Tseliso Thipanyane dismissed this.

“On the Malema matter, we made a finding and we’ve been taken on review and we do our work without fear, favour or prejudice.”