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HRC should take action against pres. Jacob Zuma

The time has come for the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to fearlessly fulfil its mandate and call president Jacob Zuma to order over his racially divisive comments which boils down to hate speech, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on communication, said.

Adv. Alberts says the FF Plus yesterday laid a second complaint of hate speech against president Zuma following his racist comments the past weekend at Melmoth, where he had made comments which essentially translate into white people not being trustworthy and that black people should vote for each other.

According to Adv. Anton Alberts, Dr. Pieter Mulder, leader of the Freedom Front Plus, accused the HRC in January last year of double standards, after it had not responded to a complaint of hate speech which had been laid against the EFF in 2014 already about their election banners.

The banners, which had been widely distributed on social media platforms, amongst others, read: A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate”, and “Honeymoon is over for white people in South Africa”. The HRC has to date not responded to this complaint.

Adv. Alberts said that in his complaint to the HRC he wanted to state it clearly that the complaint is being submitted on behalf of “all peace-loving people in South Africa” and he requested the HRC to fearlessly fulfil its mandate in the same manner as the PP.

“The HRC is a Chapter 9 institution just like the PP, which has a constitutional obligation to protect the constitutional democracy of South Africa. It was to date unfortunately the experience of the FF Plus that this has not been done properly,” Adv. Alberts said.

 

Contact numbers: 082 391 3117 / 083 419 5403

 

The full complaint to the HRC follows below:

 

ADDITIONAL COMPLAINT RELATING TO EXISTING COMPLAINT WHICH WAS LODGED WITH YOUR OFFICES ON 16 JANUARY 2015:

THE EXISTING COMPLAINT RELATES TO REMARKS BY PRES. JACOB ZUMA ON JAN VAN RIEBEECK DURING January 2015, WHICH OFFENSIVE REMARKS CONSTITUTED HATE SPEECH AND VARIOUS BREACHES OF THE RIGHTS ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION (as annexed hereto as Annexure “A”)

We refer to the abovementioned complaint and submit/lodge the following as an addistional complaint thereto.

The complaint stems from further offensive remarks made by Pres. Zuma on Sunday 3 April 2016, during his visit to the community of Melmoth in Kwazulu-Natal, as part of the Government`s nationwide effort to help areas affected by drought.

A crowd of plus/minus 10 000 people gathered on the Melmoth sport grounds, and Pres. Zuma delivered a speech in which he spoke about the importance of voting.

He amongst other things, made the following offensive remarks: “Go register to vote next weekend. The vote of black people are very important” and “Black people (must) stand together and vote for other black people…”

The abovementioned and other remarks made by Pres. Zuma on 3 April 2016 constitutes hate speech against any other individuals who are not black, thus the minority groups, such as whites, Indians, and Coloured people. We are of the opinion that his statements are racially polarizing and grossly insulting to all minority and black people groups in the country who wish to exercise their right to vote for a person of their choosing without regard to skin colour.

It is, furthermore, unpresidential to make such statements in a country that is diverse and where the head of state rules over all as confirmed by Section 83(c) of the Constitution.

We thus hereby kindly request further investigation into these remarks and expect the South African Human Rights Commission to take up this matter with the neccessary urgency and importance it deserves. We further suggest that the SAHRC confront Pres. Zuma and/or the African National Congress (ANC) with this issue in order to determine whether the government has declared enmity against all minority groups. The President has now revealed himself as a serial transgressor of the Constitution with regard to the minorities in this country. His and the ANC’s whole election campaign is currently premised upon fighting “whiteness” and destroying same. These actions by the President and the ANC must now stop.

Kindly note that this complaint is lodged on behalf of all communities in South Africa who strive to live and prosper in peace, and who further will not allow their human rights to be violated by offensive remarks such as those made by Pres. Zuma.

We attach hereto a News 24 article by Amanda Khoza dated 3 April 2016, which relates to this additional complaint marked Annexure “B”.

We trust that the SAHRC will take this matter on expeditiously and without fear of the President, the Executive, Parliament and the ANC as per your Constitutional mandate. We wish to direct your attention to the Constitutional Court ruling on the Nkandla matter that reaffirmed the powers of the Public Protector. We likewise wish to point out that your mandate is to protect the Constitution and that as a similar Chapter 9 institution as that of the Public Protector you are obligated to investigate serious complaints that contains substantial prima facie indications of racially-based hate speech as is the case herein.

As this complaint is a continuation of the complaint lodged last year in January against the President in relation to his remarks on white people being the reason for all the trouble since Jan van Riebeeck landed in South Africa, which complaint is still open according to your records as evidenced by the Minister of Justice's answer to parliamentary question 516 of 2016 – attached hereto with a record of matters in an excel spreadsheet, marked Annexure “C” with the case highlighted in yellow on line 1504 – we expect nothing but a firm commitment from the SAHRC that this matter will be investigated as a matter of priority. When we submitted the aforementioned complaint we initially did receive diligent cooperation from the SAHRC, but the case went silent after this and none of our continued requests for a status update was ever answered, to our extreme frustration.

Therefore, speedy, impartial and Constitutional action in this matter will thus ensure that we will not have to consider further Constitutional options against the President and the SAHRC in the future.

We hereby kindly request acknowledgement of receipt of this complaint and further require urgent feedback on the status/progress of the current complaint lodged with your office on 16 January 2015.

 

 

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