The civil rights organisation AfriForum handed in a report today in person at the offices of the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneve, Switzerland. This report forms part of AfriForum’s established and growing international awareness campaign. AfriForum today also took part in the fifteenth session of the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues.
The abovementioned report seeks to document all the new discriminatory legislation, incidents and policies in South Africa that have been implemented or proposed or have occurred since 2020. The report also documents some of the most prominent incidents of hate speech and incitement of violence against minorities by high profile figures in that same timeframe.
AfriForum, which is an ECOSOC-registered NGO, wrote this report to provide CERD members with a more comprehensive description of the extent to which minorities are discriminated against in South Africa, particularly through hate speech, incitement to violence and discriminatory legislation.
South Africa is due to be reviewed by CERD in 2023 in regard to the elimination of discrimination. CERD confirmed that AfriForum’s report will be included in this process. This is a major first step towards AfriForum establishing itself as a key roleplayer in this review process.
This year’s United Nations Forum on Minority Issues theme was “Review. Rethink.” Ernst Roets, AfriForum’s Chief Executive for International Liaison, delivered a speech in person on the continued hate speech and discrimination against minorities in South Africa. This speech is available here. Notably, the South African Government showed their disregard for minority issues by failing to show up when called upon by the UN to report at this session on how minorities are being protected in the country.
“The world is taking notice of the discriminatory legislation and hate speech targeting minorities in South Africa. It is good to know that AfriForum has been one of the leading voices in bringing about more awareness to these issues abroad” says Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for strategy and content at AfriForum.
“After the court ruling that the chant ‘Kill the Boer’ does not constitute hate speech, which AfriForum is in the process of appealing, AfriForum decided to inform international authorities of the hate speech being directed at minorities in South Africa. That initiative is what this speech at the UN and our report forms part of,” says Roets.
“AfriForum has established itself abroad as a trustworthy authority on matters pertaining to South Africa, in particular issues relating to civil rights and minority rights” van Zyl concludes.