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Hate Speech Bill Under Construction

October 25, 2016

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

A draft bill to address racism and hate speech in South Africa is under construction.

The justice and correctional services minister, Michael Masutha, confirmed this during his budget vote speech in parliament.

The deputy justice minister, John Jeffery, mentioned the draft bill during a speech at the annual general meeting of the Hate Crimes Working Group held in Cape Town earlier this month.

The Draft Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill will create an offence of hate crimes and hate speech and criminalise any conduct which amounts to an attempt, incitement, instigation and conspiracy to commit a hate crime.

Hate speech via social media and online will fall within the scope of the proposed legislation.

In his budget vote speech, the minister also referred to the Draft National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance released for comment at the beginning of 2016.

The NAP aims to provide South Africa with a policy framework to address racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at both a private and public level.

Comment on the NAP is invited until 30 June 2016.

The department will also prioritise the finalisation of the Draft Traditional Courts Bill during 2016.

The intention is to table the draft bill in June 2016.