EFF welcomes SCA ruling against AfriForum apartheid flag

Published Apr 25, 2023


Johannesburg - The EFF have welcomed the recent judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which dismissed AfriForum’s appeal to lift the ban on the apartheid flag.

On Friday, the SCA, in a 33-page ruling, unanimously argued that any gratuitous public display of the old South African flag constitutes hate speech, unfair discrimination on the basis of race, and harassment in terms of equality legislation.

This comes after AfriForum lost its appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in the case of the old South African flag.

In 2019, the Equality Court in Johannesburg ruled that the display of the old South African flag, both in public and private spaces, has been prohibited, saying the only exception to the rule is the display of the flag for artistic expression, academic expression, or journalistic expression in the public interest.

In a statement issued on Monday, EFF spokesperson, Sinawo Thambo said it has been vindicated by this ruling as AfriForum exposed its racist outlook when it challenged the ruling on several occasions under the freedom of speech pretence.

"The EFF is vindicated by this judgment, in that we have long identified AfriForum as a gang of racists who seek to undermine the history of liberation struggles in this country in favour of the promotion of racist symbols and the glorification of the conquest of African people. Anyone who dares to display the apartheid flag must face the full might of the law and be prosecuted for advancing hate and racism," Thambo said.

He added that, similar to Die Stem, the old apartheid flag serves the same hurtful and divisive purposes in a democratic South African setting, adding that Die Stem should be banned just like the apartheid flag.

"The EFF is of the firm belief that ‘Die Stem’, which sits at the centre of South Africa's national anthem, serves the same hateful purpose as the apartheid flag would in our society. It is a song that racists sang as they tortured freedom fighters in Vlakplaas, and it glorifies the ideals of white supremacy and Afrikaner entitlement, which claim dominion over the land of African people.

"Just as the apartheid flag has been outlawed, so should ‘Die Stem’ and all racist symbols and statues in South Africa," he said.

The recent ruling was also welcomed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which said it was encouraged by the ruling.

"The Nelson Mandela Foundation is encouraged by the Supreme Court of Appeal’s unanimous judgment on the ‘old apartheid flag’ case, wherein it has been affirmed that gratuitous displays of the ‘old Apartheid flag’ do indeed constitute hate speech.

"The case began at the Equality Court in 2019, where the court gave a declaratory order confirming that gratuitous displays of the ‘old apartheid flag’ were declared to be hate speech. AfriForum NPC appealed this judgment to the SCA and has subsequently failed to show why gratuitous displays of the ‘old apartheid flag’ should not constitute hate speech," the foundation said.

The Star