21/02/2018 06:38 SAST | Updated 21/02/2018 06:38 SAST

Edward Zuma 'Does Not Understand Hate Speech' - SAHRC

Edward Zuma is being sued for R100 000 for "hate speech" over comments he made about Pravin Gordhan and Derek Hanekom.

President Zuma's eldest son Edward dances past the groomsmen at his wedding to Phumelele Shange on October 8, 2011 in Nkandla, South Africa.
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President Zuma's eldest son Edward dances past the groomsmen at his wedding to Phumelele Shange on October 8, 2011 in Nkandla, South Africa.

Former president Jacob Zuma's son Edward does not understand what hate speech is, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says. According to TimesLive, the SAHRC told the Equality Court this week that Zuma's response to the allegations against him shows that he lacks understanding of the charges against him.

The SAHRC wants Zuma found guilty of hate speech and fined R100,000 for comments he made about former ministers Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan last year. He reportedly said that Gordhan was a corrupt cadre who‚ like Gandhi‚ "sees black South Africans as low-class k......s"‚ while Hanekom was a "white askari who will do anything to be an obstacle to radical economic transformation and to defend white monopoly privileges".

He reportedly said that Hanekom was "no better than a vile dog".

The SAHRC's KwaZulu-Natal manager reportedly told the court that Zuma's comments "painted them as the enemy of the majority of the people of this country".

"It contributes to the alienation of the target community and conveys a particularly divisive message that the Afrikaner and Indian people are less deserving of respect and dignity," Munnoo reportedly said.

She said that, in his response, Zuma has simply noted the allegation that he was guilty of hate speech, and labelled the allegations as opinion.

"What the respondent has‚ however‚ failed to do is give his versions of events. The respondent's position displays a lack of understanding of hate speech‚" she reportedly said.

According to News24, the commission's chair Bongani Majola previously said the commission was not satisfied with the fact that Zuma apologised for his remarks, as he had only apologised to Hanekom, Gordhan and the ANC.

"We have noted with concern an increase in the number of complaints we have received over the past four years relating to hate speech.

"It is in the public interest for the court to pronounce on the phenomenon, which appears to be gaining momentum and threatens to undermine the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights in South Africa," Majola reportedly said.

The Sunday Tribune reported that Majola told the court that threats to kill Indian South Africans followed Zuma's comments.

In newsletters put out by the Mazibuye African Forum, Indians were accused of exploiting Africans. There were also comments on Facebook calling for the murder of Indians, Majola reportedly told the court.