The African National Congress (ANC) president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, faces a “hate speech” criminal prosecution for his speech to his party’s congress last month in which he accused white people of being thieves.
South African president Jacob Zuma (left).
According to a press release issued by the TAU-SA, one of South Africa’s largest commercial farming unions (and formerly called the Transvaal Agricultural Union), Zuma has been issued a formal lawyer’s letter pointing out that his speech breached section 10(1) of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, Nr 4 of 2000.
That section makes it a criminal offence to “publish, propagate, advocate or communicate words based on one or more of the prohibited grounds, against any person, that could reasonably be construed to demonstrate a clear intention to-(a) be hurtful; (b) be harmful or to incite harm; (c) promote or propagate hatred.”
The TAU-SA alleges that Zuma has deliberately incited hatred against whites with his comment during his speech, quoted as “Comrades‚ the challenges of poverty‚ inequality and unemployment have their roots in the vast tracks of land that was stolen from the indigenous people of South Africa.”
The TAU-SA’s legal complaint says that this is obviously directed against white people, and is not only factually incorrect, but also deliberately aimed at stirring up hatred against whites.
The full letter reads as follows:
RE: TAU-SA / YOURSELF & THE ANC
1 We act on behalf of the TAU-SA representing the interests of farmers.
2 We refer to your speech delivered at the National Executive Committee on the occasion of the 104th anniversary of the African National Congress on 8 January 2016.
3 Notwithstanding the written prepared speech, you deviated therefrom and made the following statement which is of grave concern to our client: ‘Comrades, the challenges of poverty, inequality and the unemployment have their roots in the vast tracks of land that was stolen from the indigenous people of South Africa.’
4 Allegations about land that had been stolen in South Africa, together with other allegations which you have made referring to Jan van Riebeeck, and similar statements, have led our client to believe that yourself and the ANC are intent upon discriminating against whites, and in particular white land owners.
5 This also appears from a further statement you had made namely: ‘South Africa’s history of apartheid and colonialism characterised by racial hierarchy and systematic institutionalised conquest and dispossession of the indigenous people of this country, is directly related to our current challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.’
6 We do not deny the effect that colonialism and apartheid has had on South African society. However, our client has a serious problem with the allegation that vast tracks of land in South Africa were stolen from the indigenous people of South Africa.
7 That is factually and historically simply incorrect. Firstly, all the current land owners of land in South Africa have not stolen such land, but have lawfully purchased the land that they own. That has been the case in respect of most of the land in South Africa for at least a century.
8 The allegations that were made by you and the ANC are made with the intent and innuendo to convey that:
8.1 white people who own land are thieves;
8.2 the whites who came to South Africa were thieves, criminals and robbers;
8.3 whites in South Africa stole land without remuneration or agreement;
8.4 all black tribes were indigenous to South Africa when whites arrived in 1652.
9 We have instructions to request from yourself and the ANC an unconditional apology to all land owners in South Africa, and to white land owners in general, for the hurtful, harmful and hatred infused statement you have made.
10 We advised our client that the statement was made with a clear intention to be hurtful, to be harmful, to incite harm and to promote or propagate hatred against white land owners.
11 This constitutes hate speech in terms of section 10(1) of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, Nr 4 of 2000.
12 Should yourself and the ANC not be prepared to furnish an apology, our client will have no alternative but to take the matter to the Equality Court for the necessary relief.
CJ VAN DYK
VAN DYK THERON
* Zuma is already the subject of worldwide ridicule for his comical—but deadly—public behavior, including spending vast amounts of state money building his private house, buying personal jets, claiming that AIDS could be prevented by having a shower, and, most recently, for being incapable of saying out loud a number consisting of more than six figures.