South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is to introduce legislation criminalizing hate crimes and hate speech.
Speaking on the anniversary of the 1960 massacre of 69 protesters by apartheid police in Sharpeville, President Jacob Zuma says the Bill will be tabled by September.
President Jacob Zuma says racist events earlier this year show the need for South Africans to discuss this evil and unite against it.
The country has to go a long way to eliminate white supremacist views that still exist in a small minority of South Africans, says Zuma, warning against the tendency to downplay this.
The President tells the meeting in Durban that racism has been instilled in South Africa by a succession of white governments.
Zuma ’s unhappy about what he calls subtle and disguised racism by cartoonists stereotyping individuals.
He did not name particular cartoonists or their targets.
However, the Gupta family of Indian entrepreneurs who have bought enormous influence in his government have echoed Zuma’s opinion that attacks against them are racially motivated.
Zuma himself has sued cartoonists over the way he personally has been lampooned.
Freedom of speech activists accept that South Africa’s history calls for particular sensitivity by cartoonists and commentators.
Nevertheless they fear Zuma’s latest outburst could indicate a tougher official line curbing free expression of opinion.