On Thursday, 17 October, the Centre for Unity in Diversity (CUD,) supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), hosted the third Roundtable Discussion for 2019. Topic: Freedom of Expression v Hate Speech: Are we Striking a Balance in South Africa? Speakers included Ms Sara Gon (Policy Fellow at the IRR, a think-tank that promotes political and economic freedom); Prof Juan Nel (Research Professor of Psychology at the University of South Africa and former President of PsySSA. Prof Nel represents PsySSA on the Hate Crimes Working Group Steering Committee); and Ms Christine Botha (Manager at the CFCR).
The speakers unpacked the importance of freedom of expression; recent findings by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Courts on hate speech; the psychological impact of hate speech on communities and whether current remedies available in South Africa are adequate.