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Chinese community challenges SA Court over hate speech

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Legal case against 12 respondents accused of hate speech, harassment and unfair discrimination to resume in the South Gauteng High Court (sitting as an Equality Court) on the 25th of November 2019. Ground Up Legal case against 12 respondents accused of hate speech, harassment and unfair discrimination to resume in the South Gauteng High Court (sitting as an Equality Court) on the 25th of November 2019.
Speech being challenged includes statements that Chinese people are “not human”

November 18, 2019
 
Staff reporter
 
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: On the 25th of November 2019, The Chinese Association's (TCA) legal case against 12 respondents accused of hate speech, harassment and unfair discrimination will resume in the South Gauteng High Court (sitting as an Equality Court).
 
The case concerns a series of comments made by individuals, which were posted on the Facebook pages of Carte Blanche and the Karoo Donkey Sanctuary in early 2017. The case returns to court after having started in March this year. At the court inquiry next week, TCA will present evidence on the harmful, hurtful and discriminatory effects of these comments on the local Chinese community.
 
The speech being challenged includes statements that Chinese people are “not human”, are “vile and barbaric”, and that South Africa should “get rid” of the Chinese. Further statements are that they should be “wipe[d] out” and that “we should start killing their children”. 
 
“The case is about shining a spotlight on how Chinese people in South Africa face frequent hate speech, particularly on social media. Many South Africans don’t know the history of Chinese in this country - the contributions we have made and the pain we have suffered. We want to break the silence on our experiences of discrimination and so we expect many of our community members to attend the court hearing”, says Francis Lai Hong, Deputy Chairperson of TCA.
 
TCA brought the case on behalf of over 40 organisations and prominent people from across the local Chinese community, including the All Africa China Association, the South African Chinese Enterprises Association, the China-Africa Women's Association, the SA-Chinese People’s Friendship Association, the South African Guangzhou Association of Trade and Cultural Exchange, and the Sino South African Chamber of Commerce.
 
“South Africans of Chinese origin are part and parcel of our diverse country and we contribute to all sectors of society. We were subject to abuse from the time we were brought here in the colonial period and during apartheid. We shouldn’t have to endure the speech or actions of those who deny us our dignity and humanity in this democracy”,  says Taryn Lock, Founder of Proudly Chinese SA,  a platform established partly in response to hate speech and that profiles the work of young Chinese South Africans.
 
Racism remains a serious issue in South Africa and still affects many people. TCA will lead evidence on the lived experience of both South African born Chinese people and the immigrant Chinese community. This includes the hurt and harm of racist hate speech in the context of the indignities the Chinese have experienced both in the past and presently.
 
TCA seeks relief geared at improving relations across the diverse communities that make up South African society. This includes an unconditional apology, an interdict preventing similar future speech, damages, the rendering of community service to monitor and remove anti-Chinese hate speech on social media, and that the respondents attend a sensitisation training offered by the South African Human Rights Commission.
Last modified onMonday, 18 November 2019 13:24