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Bongani Masuku guilty of hate speech, must apologise to SA Jewish Board of Deputies

The Equality Court sitting in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has ordered the Congress of South African Trade Unions' (Cosatu) Bongani Masuku to make "unconditional apology" to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) for comments he made in 2009.

Masuku was found guilty of hate speech on Thursday morning.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and SAJBD were squaring off with Masuku and Cosatu.

Judge Seun Moshidi said Masuku should apologise within 30 days of the order or within a period that the parties may agree.

"The impugned statements are declared hurtful, harmful, incite harm, and propagate hatred, and amount to hate speech... " Moshidi said.

Masuku and other members of Cosatu and affiliated unions were present in court for the judgment.

In 2009, the SAHRC found Masuku guilty of hate speech.

He was called to apologise to the SAJBD, which he refused to do.

According to reports, the SAJBD accused Masuku of hate speech for comments he made during a lecture at the University of the Witwatersrand, hosted by the Palestine Solidarity Committee and the Young Communist League.

The complaint lodged in 2009 was based on threatening, inflammatory and derogatory statements made by Masuku against the mainstream South African Jewish community, City Press reported.

The SAJBD's complaint detailed how Masuku, in a public address at Wits University, as well as in various written communications, threatened that Jewish South Africans would be targeted because of their support for Israel.

The weekly Sunday paper also added that Masuku made statements that Jewish lives would be made "hell", and that vigilante action would be taken against Jewish families suspected of having members serving in the Israeli military, and that Jews who continued to stand up for Israel should "not just be encouraged, but forced to leave South Africa".

Masuku and Cosatu were ordered to pay legal costs.


(c) 2017 News24

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