South Africa’s Equality Court has declared Velaphi Khumalo guilty of hate speech after he called on Facebook for the country to be “cleansed” of white people, in the same manner Adolf Hitler targeted Jews.
“The utterances of the respondent are declared to be speech prohibited in terms of Section 10(1) of the Equality Act,” ruled Judge Roland Sutherland.
He interdicted Khumalo from repeating the utterances and ordered him to remove all references to the utterances off any social media or other forms of public communication.
He must also write a letter of apology directed to all South Africans.
“The respondent shall within 30 days of the date of this order publish a written apology directed at all South Africans in which he acknowledges that the utterances were hate speech, that he was wrong to utter them, and undertakes never again to utter any remarks prohibited by Section 10(1) of the Equality Act,” ordered Sutherland.
Khumalo was also ordered to pay the complainants’ costs.
On January 4, 2016, amid a storm over comments made by estate agent Penny Sparrow, Khumalo posted:
“I want to cleans (sic) this country of all white people. we must act as Hitler did to the Jews. I don’t believe any more that the (sic) is a large number of not so racist white people. I’m starting to be sceptical even of those within out Movement of the ANC. I will from today unfriend all white people I have as friends from today u must be put under the same blanket as any other racist white because secretly u all are a bunch of racist fuck heads. as we have already seen (sic).”
He also typed: “Noo seriously though u oppressed us when you were a minority and then manje [now] u call us monkeys and we suppose to let it slide (sic). white people in south Africa deserve to be hacked and killed like Jews. U have the same venom moss. look at Palestine. noo you must be bushed alive and skinned and your off springs used as garden fertiliser (sic).”
The court registrar was also told to send a copy of the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Khumalo must carry the costs of the case.
The case had a complicated history.
It stemmed from a complaint by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on behalf of numerous people who had submitted objections to what he wrote. Among the complainants were the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and a Capetonian, Daniel Amos.
There was also an in camera case on the same matter at the Equality Court in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, following another complaint.
Sutherland said in his judgment that delays were caused when it became clear there were two separate processes running. In the Roodepoort case Khumalo agreed to a settlement in which he said in an affidavit that he was sorry, and agreed to pay a fine of R30 000 to a charity, but could only pay it at R1 000 a month, among other punishments. However, there was no sign that this had been enforced and he also questioned why this was held in camera.
The SAJBD had alleged that the comments incited genocide and propaganda against white people, and the SAHRC asked for a declarator that the first utterances constitute hate speech in terms of the Equality Act.
The hearings were held on July 2 and 3, 2018.
Khumalo was a Gauteng government employee at the time of posting the comments.