ActionSA Lodges Complaint of Hate Speech Against DA Speaker

ActionSA in the Western Cape has lodged a complaint of hate speech with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against the DA Speaker of the Cederberg Municipality, John Hayes.

This comes after Hayes posted a picture of monkeys, accompanied by the words, “Be careful. The EFF strike started” and “Looting Trend in SA.”

ActionSA has condemned the EFF’s national shutdown with its threatened violence and disruption to South Africa’s economy.  ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba, called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to order law enforcement agencies to put an end to the EFF’s unlawful protests.

However, in South Africa, using words or images such as “baboon,” “monkey,” and “aap” to describe people in a demeaning way has been declared by the courts to be hate speech. Such conduct has no place in a constitutional democracy founded on the values of dignity and equality.

Racism remains a very real problem in South Africa.  South Africans must act to challenge racism in all its forms and pro-actively work to break down racial stereotypes and racial prejudice.

ActionSA has therefore requested that the South African Human Rights Commission institute action against Hayes in the Equality Court.

As the Speaker of the Cederberg Council, John Hayes has a special duty to uphold the integrity of the Council.  The Municipal Code of Conduct for Councillors requires that councillors, at all times, act in such a way that the credibility and integrity of the municipality are not compromised.

ActionSA calls on the Cederberg Municipal Council to take the steps set out in the Code of Conduct: to establish a committee to investigate Hayes’ conduct, and to make a finding on his clear breach of the Code.