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Sat Aug 27 06:51:59 SAST 2016

South Africa wouldn't stand for Trump terror statements: deputy minister

AARTI J NARSEE | 01 March, 2016 14:25
Donald Trump. File photo.
Image by: GETTY IMAGES

In South Africa, no public figure in "their right mind" would give advice like Donald Trump did on counterterrorism, said Deputy Minister of Justice John Jeffery.

He was speaking in Cape Town during a dialogue hosted by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the National Action Plan to combat racism and other social ills. Tuesday marks the beginning of Human Rights Month.

A public consultation will be held in coming months on the National Action Plan‚ which aims to develop a comprehensive public policy against racial discrimination and other related human rights issues such as xenophobia and intolerance.

"[Counterterrorism] remarks recently made by presidential hopeful Donald Trump also tells us something about South Africa‚” Jeffrey said.

"In our country‚ no public figure in their right mind would say something like that. Within minutes it would be all over social media and the public would simply not stand for it. There would be hate speech charges filed and the public outcry would be definite."

The controversial US Republican presidential candidate‚ said last week that "torture works" and that if elected president‚ he will bring back waterboarding and techniques "a hell of a lot worse".

Jeffrey said that it was easy – after comments made by people like Penny Sparrow‚ Chris Hart and Velaphi Khumalo in our country – to become "pessimistic".

"The choice we have today is whether to argue‚ like some people do‚ that the rainbow nation is a myth‚ or possibly never really existed at all. Or we could choose to accept that our country is like a zebra – you cannot injure the black part without the white part suffering and vice versa.

"We must tirelessly work at fighting discrimination‚ with renewed and ongoing efforts to build a human rights culture. As Trevor Noah recently said 'Freedom is hard work'.”

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