2019/12/16

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4 South Africans admit guilt in hate speech case against Chinese

  


Four people in South Africa accused of hate speech against local Chinese people have admitted guilt and agreed to hundreds of hours of community service as punishment even before the case has ended.


The matter stems from anti-Chinese comments made on social media in January 2017 after a video went viral showing the slaughter of donkeys for their skins, allegedly to be illegally exported for the Chinese medicinal market.


Among the most offending comments were that Chinese were vile, barbaric people who were scum of the Earth.


The Chinese Association (TCA) took the matter to South Africas Equality Court, which was set up to protect peoples rights in the post-apartheid era. A total of 12 people had been accused of hate speech.


The TCA was outraged at apparent calls for the genocide of Chinese people. One social media post suggested: I think we should start killing their (Chinese) children for a (hangover cure).



The court, which heard the case in Johannesburg, ordered the four individuals last week to post an unconditional apology to Chinese South Africans on their social media accounts, to be pinned there for six months.


For their community service of 500 hours, the four have agreed to remove anti-Chinese hate speech on social media platforms.


The case played out against a backdrop of recent and repeated bouts of xenophobia in South Africa where foreigners are often falsely accused of stealing jobs from South Africans.



Dozens of people have been killed or injured and many foreigners businesses and homes burned and looted in recent outbreaks though most of the violence is aimed against black Africans from outside South Africa.


The 12 respondents were accused under South Africas hate speech laws, which prohibit collective attacks on groups of people and calls for violence against them.


The TCA, which represents the interests of more than 100,000 Chinese South Africans, was confident the court would rule in its favour on all counts.


We believe the court will see that our case against these heinous comments is indisputable, said TCA chairperson Erwin Pon.


In a diverse democracy such as ours, underpinned by principles of equality and dignity, it cannot be acceptable to say about a particular group of people, wipe them out or get rid of them.



TCA vice-chairman Francis Lai Hong added: TCA is pleased that we were able to present evidence on the history of racism that has faced our community and on how, too, hate speech and racism impact us currently.


Through this case, the Chinese experience in South Africa has finally been made visible.


The case will continue in South Gauteng High Courts Equality Court in February 2020.


Source: https://www.inkstonenews.com


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