On August 21 the Equality Court of South Africa ruled that displaying apartheid era-national flag is an offence and constitutes hate speech.
The court made this ruling following the petitions filed by Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African Human Rights Commission. The case was initiated on October 30, 2017, when public demonstrations against violence to farmers took place and the old apartheid flag was displayed during the same. Citing this, the NMF filed the complaint. The case was based mainly on the old flag and the freedom of expression.
The black flag was first instituted in the year 1927. It was seen as a symbol for unity between Britain and Africa. But the black people were not consulted while the decision was taken. So they raised contentions that the display of the flag affects their right of equality granted by their constitution.
While delivering the judgement, Judge Phineas Mojapelo discussed each of the issues in turn, first stating that: “The Old Flag must be interpreted against its history and meaning in order to ascertain its objective meaning(s) and thus to asses the effect of its display on the rights to dignity and equality.” He also brought in the view that said that section 10 of the Act “should be interpreted in a manner that prohibits all expressions of ideas, verbal and otherwise (including the displaying of a flag), that amount to hate speech.”
Tags : #equalityciurt #SA #oldflag #NMF