Zuma must respond to complaint about his remarks on Jan van Riebeeck

Adv Anton Alberts

President Jacob Zuma must respond to a complaint of hate speech which the Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating following his comments about Jan van Riebeeck in January this year, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on communication said.

The FF Plus had laid a complaint with the HRC against Pres. Zuma shortly after he made the comments and alleged that it boils down to hate speech against white people.

Pres. Zuma said amongst other things that the country’s problems started with the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in South Africa and that many struggles, wars, deaths and land-grabbing and the expropriation from indigenous people’s political and economic power had followed on his arrival.

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

According to Adv. Alberts it is un-presidential to make such comments in a diverse country and where the head of state governs all people. He said the offending comments boils down to hate speech because white people are made the scape goats for everything which has gone wrong in this country since 1652.

“The fact that the HRC had decided to confront the president about this and to ask for answers, is already sending a strong message that people cannot just make statements which offend others or propagates hatred.

“The FF Plus did not only submit the complaint on behalf of all white South Africans, but on behalf of all communities who want to live in peace and prosper together.

“If the merit of the FF Plus’ complaint is objectively reviewed, we have no doubt that there will be a finding that it borders on hate speech. In the mean time we believe the president will think twice in future before he makes any wild statements,” Adv. Alberts says.


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