Durban - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has been granted an order that interdicts and restrains Edward Zuma from “publishing, propagating, advocating or communicating hate speech”, following statements he made in 2017.
The order forms part of a settlement reached between the oldest son of former president Jacob Zuma and the SAHRC at the Durban Equality Court on Tuesday, at which Edward made a brief appearance.
In an open letter distributed in July last year, Edward hit out at recently fired ministers Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan, calling both sell-outs and supporters of white monopoly capital.
Edward labelled Gordhan “one of the most corrupt cadres of the ANC who thinks African Natives are no better than just being sugar cane cutters who must be forever subservient to a master like him for sustenance”.
Hanekom, according to Edward, was a “white Afrikaner Askari” and “no better than a vile dog trained to maul a black skin”.
At the time of Edward’s utterances, then president Jacob Zuma had just fired Hanekom and Gordhan.
Both men were reinstated this year when Cyril Ramaphosa took over as state president following Zuma's resignation in February. Hanekom again took the helm of the ministry of tourism while Gordhan was moved to public enterprises.
The SAHRC issued a statement soon after Edward's statement, saying that the utterances promoted hatred on the basis of race, that he had violated the constitutional right to freedom of expression and that it would be seeking appropriate redress.
Edward apologised to Hanekom, Gordhan and the ANC after being instructed to do so by the governing party, but the commission wanted a public apology to all South Africans and, initially, a fine of R100 000 to be issued.
Read more: letter 'violates freedom of speech'
Edward made a brief appearance at Tuesday’s hearing before asking to be excused, which was granted by magistrate Irfaan Khalil.
Magistrate Khalil was told that the settlement agreement included a payment of R60 000 to the Umthombo Secondary School in the Mpophomeni area of Howick, a declaratory order that Edward’s statements were hate speech, and an order restraining him from making or advocating statements that were defined as hate speech.
Edward was also ordered to issue a written, unconditional apology to all South Africans within seven days of signing the agreement. The apology was to be sent to the SAHRC for publication.
Khalil, however, ordered that the R60 000 fine should be split between Umthombo Secondary School and Ohlange High School in Inanda, which was established by ANC founding president, Dr, John Dube.
The fine would be paid in instalments of R10 000 per month; the first instalment is due to Umthombo on or before 31 June 2018 with consecutive payments thereafter until the amount was paid in full.
Once those payments had been made, the same amount was to be paid to Ohlange, starting in September 2018.
Even though the matter was now settled and no further action would be taken, it was agreed that if Edward failed to comply with the terms of the agreement, the SAHRC would reserve its rights to proceed further. Both parties agreed to pay their own costs.
African News Agency/ANA