The lobby group AfriForum has been criticized for its bid to overturn a court ruling on the display of the apartheid flag in public and private spaces.
The group is seeking equal rights court ruling that banned the display of the flag a form of hate speech.
The appeal will be heard this week before the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
Ernst Roets, CEO of AfriForum, said the lobby group and its members didn’t show the flag but wanted a clear distinction between free speech and hate speech.
“We have to be careful, don’t getting down the wrong track where we start considering offensive things as hate speech and ban them on that basis. That is why AfriForum is involved in this matter, not because of the flag as such, but because of the underlying principle of freedom of expression,” said Roets.
The advert of the The apartheid flag was declared hate speech in 2019 after the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the SA Human Rights Commission took the matter to court. The motion was in response to the flag-waving during an AfriForum protest against farm killings in 2017.
President Phineas Mojapelo said flag-waving was racist and discriminatory.< /span>
Hate speech was not just limited to words, extended to behavior and gestures. Displaying the old flag caused more than emotional distress for black people, and the display reminded them of the oppression they had moved away from, he said.
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