Picture: succo/Pixabay

I beg to disagree with the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court of Appeal on what constitutes hate speech.

(The SCA recently declared that a comment is only hate speech if it causes harm as well as incites violence.) 

Hate speech by any legal definition is a blatant violation of our constitutional right to freedom of expression. Under the guise of freedom of expression, demagogues test the constraints of the Constitution by engaging and becoming cheerleaders for forces of hate, from xenophobics to political extremists.

Any attempt to legally de-sanitise hate speech will lead to fascism by stealth. Hate speech and its toxic twin are an affront to humanity. Any form of human degradation is an outrageous violation of our sacred constitution.

Racism and its insidious twin hate speech are two of the most baneful and persistent evils; they are a major barrier to peace. Its practise perpetrates too outrageous a violation of the dignity of human beings to be countenanced under any pretext. Racism retards the unfolding of the boundless potentialities of its victims, corrupts its perpetrators and blights human progress.

Hate speech is a grave malady capable of causing the destruction of our democratic order. It is a corrosion that has bitten into the fibre,and attacked the whole social structure of our society. No nation in this world holds hate speech in greater horror than us.

No one surveying the history of our nation can overlook the pathetic wreckage of commitment twisted and turned into a thousand shapes under the stress of prejudice and racism by stealth.