Tuesday, 19 November 2019 20:35

Constitutional Court has dismissed the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s (NMF’s) application to appeal a ruling by the Equality Court in favour of Afriforum's Ernst Roets and his display of the old South African flag.

 

In an order dated November 13, the court found that it would not be in the interests of justice to have AfriForum’s head of policy and action jailed for a tweet.

The NMF in its application argued that the court “fail[ed] to consider that contempt of court consists in ‘the commission of any act or statement that displays disrespect for the authority of the court’ … or in ‘violating the dignity, repute or authority of the court’.”

In August, Roets had tweeted his picture of the apartheid flag just hours after the same court had declared the gratuitous display of the flag hate speech.

Judge President Phineas Mojapelo said: “The right to freedom of expression is widely protected in our law. However, it does not protect the right to hate speech and does not trump the right to human dignity. That is so because of our history – which is a painful one.”

In a statement AfriForum welcomed the Constitutional Court’s decision.

“This is a confirmation that the NMF is busy with its own political agenda, which comes down to nothing more than a witch-hunt – a witch-hunt that cannot be justified on the basis of law,” said Roets.