Complaint to be laid against SAHRC over Edward Zuma – Anton Alberts

FF Plus issues an ultimatum to Commission because of its delay in taking action against President's son

FF Plus issues an ultimatum to the Human Rights Commission because of its delay in taking action against Zuma’s son

1 August 2017

The FF Plus issued an ultimatum to the HRC today demanding that action be taken against Edward Zuma by this coming Friday, the 4th of August, and that he be brought before the Equality Court. If this does not happen, the FF Plus will lodge a complaint with the Public Protector (PP) stating that the HRC is mismanaging funds by selectively investigating cases and as such it is misusing tax money.

The FF Plus will also lodge a complaint against the HRC with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with the Paris Principles, to which South Africa subscribes and which direct the operations of the South African Human Rights Commission.

Adv. Anton Alberts, chairperson of the FF Plus, says that these international principles that stipulate that all human rights must be protected and promoted are clearly being violated.

“There is no doubt that Edward Zuma’s comments qualify as hate speech and by not prosecuting him, the HRC is letting South Africans down. We simply cannot put up with this any longer.

“The shockingly racist comments made by Edward Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s son, and the HRC’s equally shocking decision to give him a change to “apologise” for it, undoubtedly makes it very clear that the HRC is selectively acting on the basis of race in response to incidents of racism.

“The HRC’s failure to act even-handedly is not only unethical and unacceptable, but it also greatly contributes to a culture of intolerance and racially divisive statements against whites in general seeing as the trespassers know that they can act with impunity.

“In an open letter last week, Edward Zuma called former Minister Derek Hanekom ‘a vile white dog trained to maul the black majority’.

“Instead of immediately taking steps against him, he was given 48 hours to apologise. Compare this with the quick action taken against white people like Penny Sparrow and Sunette Bridges. By the 48-hour deadline of 2 o’clock today (Tuesday, the 1st of August), he had still not offered an apology and there is nothing but silence from the HRC’s side.

“It seems that the HRC does not have the resolve to prosecute high profile people. One of the most frustrating cases was the complaint that the FF Plus lodged against the former CEO of Transnet, Brian Molefe, after he allegedly libelled Transnet pensioners and threatened them should they take part in protest marches. The case was dismissed due to technicalities.

“The FF Plus has been struggling for years to convince the HRC to act without reserve in cases of extreme racist remarks, hate speech and incitement to violence, which are all prohibited by law.

“Over the years, numerous complaints have been lodged against, amongst others, President Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema and some of his supporters who made terrible remarks about whites on social media. Absolutely nothing came of it. The FF Plus also found it difficult, if not impossible, to get feedback on the progress with these cases.

“In light of this unwillingness to act, the FF Plus have requested information, in accordance with PAIA, on the HRC’s investigations and actions that aim to identify racial favouritism in 2015 already.

“The HRC responded by saying that it does not keep information on the racial profiles of complainants and offenders. The FF Plus finds this incomprehensible as this data is critically important for the HRC to determine the incidence of racism in South Africa.

“The FF Plus has approached the HRC about the perception of impartiality and it has undertaken in written documents to act even-handedly. It, however, has become clear that the undertaking was only lip service and that the HRC is not going to act accordingly.

“It leaves the FF Plus with no other choice but to hold the HRC accountable for its violation of its own constitutional and international judicial mandate,” says Adv. Alberts.

Issued by Anton Alberts, FF Plus chairperson, 1 August 2017