5 Major Laws that every South African should know

2. Hate speech laws

On Wednesday (7 March), Arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa confirmed that the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill will soon be tabled.

One of the biggest controversies surrounding the bill is the large number of characteristics which are now covered under ‘hate speech’, leading to fears that even petty insults could lead to trouble with the law.

“The Constitution allows for the protection of only four specified characteristics – race, ethnicity, religion, gender – but the bill protects seventeen characteristics, including ‘culture’, ‘belief’, ‘occupation’, and ‘gender identity’,” the the Free Market Foundation (FMF) said in an analysis.

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