A few days ago, I flew to Joburg to join AfriForum’s press conference at which advocate Mark Oppenheimer, paragraph by paragraph, annihilated the ANC’s draft “hate speech bill”, and I, cartoon by cartoon, didn’t.
But at least people laughed.
It just so happened that, on the same day, Gerrie Nel announced his resignation from the National Prosecuting Authority and his joining Afriforum’s newly launched private prosecution team. It’s a pretty big deal, considering he took down former Interpol president and South African police commissioner Jackie Selebi, as well as Oscar Pistorius, as well as being at the head of the Scorpions (before the ANC shut them down).
I would hate to be the dude who dates his daughter.
The proposed bill has far reaching effects, ranging from criminalising people who take stabs at occupations (such as lawyer jokes), to people who teach from the Bible or Quran (or distribute such material), to journalists who report on “hate speech”, to cartoonists who “insult” others.
Basically, if you hurt someone’s feelings, then you might find yourself behind bars.
That doesn’t sound good to me. Which is why I also submitted my opposition via both Afriforum and the Free Market Foundation (the latter submission addressed to Ms T Ross at the Department Of Justice And Constitutional Development).
The bill will now find its way to Parliament where it will be debated and - hopefully - thrown into the bin.