SA Court Says Apartheid Flag Display Hate Speech

South African President

South Africa’s equality court on Wednesday restricted the display of the apartheid flag, ruling that it constitutes hate speech, unfair discrimination, and harassment based on race.

The old flag, which was replaced in 1994, when South Africa became a democracy with Nelson Mandela as its president, can now only be displayed for historical, educational or artistic purposes, Judge Phineas Mojapelo said in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

Mojapelo was granting an application from the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which had argued the gratuitous display of the orange, white and blue apartheid flag was an indicator of racial superiority and oppression.

Although South Africa has had a new national flag since 1994, some people continued to display the apartheid flag during sporting events, other public gatherings or private functions.

The apartheid flag is one of the most contentious topics on the peripherals of the South African discourse. The flag used during the racist regime which governed Mzansi for almost 50 years in the 21st-century.

Legal action against the apartheid flag was sparked off by the Black Monday protests, which flared-up in Oct. 2017.

The protests will live long in infamy because what started out as an impassioned plea to take actio against a rise in farm murders descended into open displays of the apartheid flag, and in some cases, defences of the regime itself.

This public support ended up forcing lobby groups to file hate speech charges.


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