NEWS & ANALYSIS

SAHRC hypocritical - Afrikanerbond

Commission's stance in Adam Catzavelos case contradicts 2008 position on Essop Pahad matter

Hypocrisy of the South African Human Rights Commission – Latest conduct the final proof that there is no consistency in its conduct  

11 July 2019

The Afrikanerbond rejects any form of racism, whether in word or in deed. This applies to white and black racism, any form of discrimination, and hate speech. This has repeatedly been our position, and we will not defend or justify it in any form. This also applies to the utterances made by Mr Adam Catzavelos in a video while on holiday in Greece in August 2018 and spread through social media. The utterances must be rejected unconditionally.

What is astonishing, however, is that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) shows no consistency in its conduct. The SAHRC has accused Catzavelos of hate speech in accordance with the Equality Act. According to media reports, the SAHRC has confirmed that the fact that Catzavelos made the video in Greece is not a problem.

The Afrikanerbond would like to remind the SAHRC that it dismissed a complaint that we lodged in August 2008 against former Minister Essop Pahad and racist remarks he made in Beijing, China, about white people. In a letter dated 1 September 2008 (See letter attached), the SAHRC says:

"We wish to advise that the functions of the South African Human Rights Commission are set out in section 184 of the Constitution. In particular, section 184(1)(c) provides the ‘South African Human Rights Commission must monitor and assess the observation of human rights in the republic.’ In the light of the aforegoing, we note that the Minister has made such utterances while in Beijing. In this regard, the cause of action arose in Beijing and the South African Human Rights Commission has no jurisdiction in matters arising outside the republic."

Nothing has changed in the Constitution, which the SAHRC now all of a sudden wants to interpret and apply differently. The fact that it happened through social media is no different from when Mr Pahad’s remarks were reported in the South African media back then.

We have previously expressed our grave concern about the suspicious nature of the conduct and rulings of the SAHRC. The SAHRC’s decisions and public statements are simply not consistent and balanced. The SAHRC is also highly selective in its actions against possible racism and hate speech.

South Africans are increasingly losing confidence in the ability of this constitutional body to monitor racism and hate speech properly and to take strong action against any infringements that violate human rights. The SAHRC continues to disappoint greatly in its role as guardian and custodian of the Bill of Rights and its implementation for the benefit of all South Africans.

Issued by Jan Bosman, Chief Secretary of the Afrikanerbond, 11 July 2019