Imagine A World Without Hate was one of the themes for a discussion held by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, at Sandton on Sunday 25th last, at their National Conference, where the South African Minister of Justice was an invited speaker.
“Imagine a world without Hate, focuses on the perennial challenge of confronting hatred and prejudice. Historically, this is something that has had a huge and negative influence in South Africa, and its baleful influence continues to impact in our society”.
One of the panellists was Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe, who said the South African government intends to introduce legislation to combat hate crimes, and make them a criminal offence. The motivation for the draft legislation, which also included racist, xenophobic and religious attacks, was the
“violent targeting of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, for example the so-called ‘corrective rape’ and murder of lesbians and transgender men, especially in townships”.
Radebe stated that hate crimes, which send a message of fear throughout a community, could lead to social unrest if not properly dealt with by the State, as they “violate fundamental principles of equality and non-discrimination”.
He would be no stranger to the concepts of inequality or discrimination himself, as he had joined the ANC (African National Congress) in the seventies, and had been arrested for terrorism by the former apartheid government. He now has qualifications in law, and international law.
Radebe also told the conference that the government had “started with work to enact relevant legislative instruments that would make it punishable by law to commit acts of hatred against lesbians and gays”.