Marius Fransman File picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Former ANC leader in the Western Cape Marius Fransman has been ordered by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to apologise in writing to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). 

This follows remarks he made on a Cape Town Muslim radio station in which he accused the SAJBD of undermining the transformation of the CBD and the Cape Flats, and that they lacked loyalty to South Africa, the SABC reported on Friday. The commission found his comments violated the dignity of the Jewish community. 

Fransman was the deputy minister of international relations in 2013 at the time he made the remarks. According to SAJBD spokesperson Wendy Kahn, they tried on several occasions to engage with Fransman before approaching the commission.

“We are very encouraged by the ruling, we feel very strongly that people in high political office have an added responsibility in terms of our constitution to treat fellow South Africans with dignity. We believe this is a very good ruling,” Kahn said.

Fransman was, however, found not guilty of inciting hate speech. He could not be immediately reached for comment.

It's the second time this week the SAJBD has welcomed a ruling by the SAHRC, which earlier found that a social media comment made by former Cosatu general secretary in the Western Cape Tony Ehrenreich amounted to hate speech.

Ehrenreich was ordered to apologise in writing within one month to the SAJBD for offensive comments he made on social media. The written statement must also affirm his commitment to constitutional values.

In 2014, he posted a comment on Facebook calling for revenge attacks against the SAJBD and what he calls other "Zionist supporters" in retaliation for the deaths of Palestinian civilians. The commission also found that it advocated unfair discrimination against the board. 

"The commission is of the view that the post in question can be reasonably construed to demonstrate a clear intention to promote hatred of the members of the (SAJBD)‚ as is prohibited by Section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. Here, the commission found that the (social media post) amounted to hate speech‚" the SAHRC ruled.