Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi representing the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the Equality Court, made submissions on why the old South African flag should be banned. Picture: Brenda Masilela / African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - An advocate representing the Nelson Mandela Foundation argued at the Equality Court sitting at the Johannesburg High Court that the old South African flag was birthed during the apartheid regime to support racial exclusion.

Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi on Monday questioned why anyone would want to display the old flag.

"Those who do so wish to display their previous advantages as white persons," he said. 

The Nelson Mandela Foundation brought an application to the Equality Court seeking an order declaring that gratuitous displays of the old flag constitutes hate speech and discrimination based on race.

Lobby group AfriForum counters the application arguing that even gratuitous displays of the old flag are protected by the right to freedom of expression.

Ngcukaitobi took the court through the history of how the flag was introduced and said the apartheid government made it clear that the flag represented Dutch nationalism.

He accused AfriForum of having double standards when it comes to the display of the apartheid-era flag using the example of the Black Monday protest in 2017 against white farm attacks.

“On the one hand they are telling the court they’re part of a civilised society and don’t want to offend any feelings and on the other hand, they’re telling the court next time you see this flag, just sit down and reflect on how far your country has gone.”

Advocate Wim Trengrove SC for the Human Rights Commission took the argument further, saying public displays of the flag represented a nostalgia for the old South Africa.

"Nobody is here to try and stop racists from displaying the flag in their private homes. The dispute here is against the public display of such a flag in the faces of black people to say to them 'We wish for a South Africa that oppressed you'".

African News Agency (ANA)