Judgment reserved in flag case
11 May 2022
The civil rights organisation AfriForum was in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein today to oppose the 2019 ruling that banned the display of the old South African flag in most circumstances, including in private. Judgment in this case is reserved.
AfriForum has taken this initiative even though the organisation itself does not display the old South African flag. The blanket banning of the flag set a dangerous precedent that anything causing offense can and should be banned, even if there is no call for violence or to cause imminent harm.
“If you believe in the value of free speech, you defend it when it is under attack, even when it is controversial to do so. AfriForum firmly believes in freedom of speech and expression, and therefore we have continued to fight this case,” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.
“AfriForum’s position on the old South African flag does not take away from the organisation’s opposition to genuine hate speech, which is the propagation of hate against a group of people based on their identity (for example their race, ethnicity, or religion) and an incitement to cause the group harm. The law can, however, not be wielded to attempt to protect people from offence, seeing as the spectrum of what different people find offensive is nearly endless.”