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Comment Sought on Draft Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

October 28, 2016

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The invitation to comment on the Draft Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill has been published in Government Gazette 40367.

The justice and constitutional development department recently issued a call for comment on the draft bill on its website.

The draft bill was approved by cabinet at its last meeting on 19 October 2016.

According to the cabinet statement, the proposed legislation seeks to “create the offences of hate crimes and hate speech and to put in place measures to prevent and combat these offences”.

Cabinet also holds the view that the draft bill will address the increasing number of racial incidents and other types of criminal conduct in the form of hate crimes and hate speech which have occurred in recent times.

The draft bill aims to:

• Give effect to the Republic’s obligations in terms of the Constitution and international human rights instruments concerning racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in accordance with international law obligations;
• Provide for the offence of hate crimes and the offence of hate speech and the prosecution of persons who commit those crimes;
• Provide for appropriate sentences that may be imposed on persons who commit hate crime and hate speech offences;
• Provide for the prevention of hate crimes and hate speech;
• Provide for the reporting on the implementation, application and administration of this Act;
• Amend certain Acts of Parliament consequentially; and
• Provide for matters connected therewith.

Written comment is invited until 1 December 2016.

It can be emailed to hatecrimes@justice.gov.za.