Sexwale’s ‘evil farmers’ comments not hate speech

25 August 2011 - 12:29
By Charl du Plessis
Tokyo  Sexwale
Image: Muntu Vilikazi Tokyo Sexwale

THE SA Human Rights Commission has dismissed a hate speech complaint against Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

The complaint, by agricultural organisation Agri-SA, relates to comments Sexwale made in an interview with SABC in November 2009.

Sexwale said the "growing number of squatter camps in South Africa is caused by people who are kicked out by very, very evil farmers from the farms".

The commission found that Sexwale was merely expressing an opinion and that it did not amount to hate speech.

It did however recommend that "all South Africans, and particularly those in public office or in decision making positions, should refrain from making utterances or statements, and expressing opinions which have the potential to be unpalatable and/or offensive to others".