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Prevention and Combating of Hate Speech Bill to be Revived

July 17, 2019

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

17 July 2019

The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill will be revived.

The justice and correctional services minister, Ronald Lamola, confirmed this while delivering the justice and constitutional development department’s 2019 Budget Vote Speech in parliament.

The bill was tabled in parliament in April 2018 and lapsed at the end of the 5th parliament.

It seeks 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 crime and the offence of hate speech and the prosecution of persons who commit those offences;
• 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;
• effect consequential amendments to certain Acts of Parliament; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

Other legislative developments announced by the minister include the revival of the Traditional Courts Bill, the tabling of a draft bill designed to set up a Land Court, the tabling of a Draft Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill to ensure compliance with Court judgments that found certain provisions to be unconstitutional and the Judicial Matters Amendment Bill.

The minister also gave the assurance that the department will “continue to provide the necessary administrative support to enable these Commissions of Inquiry to do their work and thereby strengthen the rule of law and our constitutional democracy”.

The department will provide budgetary support towards the setting up of the Investigative Directorate under the auspices of the National Prosecuting Authority to enable it to deal with relevant cases flowing from the various Commissions.

“The Investigative Directorate will work collaboratively with a range of entities, both governmental as well as non-governmental including, the SIU, the SIU Special Tribunal and the South African Police Services, in particular the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI), the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS), to ensure that perpetrators of fraud and corruption are brought to book speedily.”

The minister also confirmed that regulations governing the SIU Special Tribunal will be finalised within a week.

The department will also draw up a Draft Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill to ensure that the act is “attuned to the constitutional democracy of our time”.

The draft bill will lead to new legislation flowing from the Integrated Criminal Justice Framework approved by Cabinet in 2017.

The department will soon approach cabinet with a business case and draft bill designed to transform the Office of the State Attorney.

In his budget vote speech, the deputy minister, John Jeffery, announced that the department was finalizing the policy framework on community advice offices and to regulate community-based paralegals.

A funding model is under construction.

“Sustainable funding is vital and we are looking at options around a mixed funding model to ensure the long term sustainability of community advice offices,” he said.

The deputy minister confirmed that the National Sexual Offences Register is not yet implementable and its implementation should be reconsidered.

“The main question is whether this registry is necessary, especially since any employer – not only those who work with children and mentally disabled people – can go to SAPS to determine if a prospective employee has a criminal record.”