Human Rights Commission will investigate pres. Zuma’s Jan van Riebeeck comments for hate speech following FF Plus’ complaint

Adv Anton Alberts

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) will be investigating the recent comments made by President Jacob Zuma about Jan van Riebeeck following a complaint of the FF Plus that it boils down to hate speech directed against all white people, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on communication said.

According to media reports President Zuma said that “numerous struggles wars and deaths and the grabbing of land and the denial of indigenous people’s political and economic power” had followed on the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck.

Adv. Alberts contended in his complaint to the HRC that the FF Plus is of the opinion that the comments are polarising on a racial basis and grossly insulting toward all white people in the country.

“It is un-presidential to make such comments in a country which is diverse and where the head of state governs over everybody. These offending comments boil down to hate speech because white people are being made the scapegoats for everything which has gone wrong since 1652.

“The fact that the HRC has decided to investigate the comments indicates that this body is of the opinion that there are merits to the complaint. The comments could in addition be historically disputed and it could justifiably asked whether this is the official view of the ANC.

The Human Rights Commission must confront the ANC about this in order to establish whether the government has declared heir hostility toward all white people,” Adv. Alberts says.

Adv. Alberts emphasised that the FF Plus complaint was not submitted on behalf of all white people only, but also on behalf of all communities in South Africa who wish to live in peace and who wish to get ahead.

He said such comments are highly divisive and could lead to not only white people being targeted in future, but everybody who has white blood in their veins, such as the brown and Khoisan communities, who in actual fact had been the first people in South Africa.

“If the ANC is to continue on this road we could bargain on huge conflicts in future and different communities in South Africa will eventually not have any choice but to defend themselves by adopting various forms of remedial self-determination.

“It would be highly ironical if the ANC itself becomes the reason for a highly divided South Africa. This complaint is aimed at confronting the ANC about this,” Adv. Alberts says.


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