The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has accused 43-year-old singer and human rights activist, Sunette Bridges of hosting hate speech on her Facebook page. The so-called “hate speech” posted by a few of her close to 40 000 followers comprises some name calling and racial slurs.
On Tuesday Ms Bridges appeared in the Western Cape Equality Court, where the complaint was filed by the SAHRC. She tried unsuccessfully to have the case moved closer to Pretoria where she lives with her husband and 5 children. Ms Bridges’ advocate argued that it was unreasonable that his client be asked to litigate the matter 1400 km from her home and requested the case be moved to Gauteng. Presiding Judge Desai refused saying that he felt the request was inadequate.
Basically the claim by Ms Bridges that she has never used hate speech herself is not being challenged but she is being held liable for some comments made on her Facebook page by other people with the claim that she is “facilitating” hate speech.
The Commission’s acting provincial manager Tammy Carter told reporters that “the SAHRC is seeking to bring about understanding,” She added “what the court was talking about, nation-building and cohesiveness, this is ultimately the job of the Human Rights Commission, to bring about that process, and that is what we’re seeking to do.”
There is undoubtedly an element of hubris in the charges as there are numerous examples of South African public servants being allowed to scream racial abuse at whites in public and local personalities openly using social media to be racially abusive and even to call for the torture and murder of whites.
A prime example is a recent tweet by Katekani Bonakile Makubele blatantly calling for the murder of Afrikaners. Ms Makubele is a radio journalist and owner of an armed private security company. No charges have been brought against her.
The South African representative of the Black Panthers Teddy Maile, also recently used social media to announce “We kill boers on the farms all the time”. (The brutal torture and murder of Afrikaner farmers (Boers) and their families is on the rise. There were 277 verified farm attacks in 2014 and there have been nine murders of farmers already since the start of 2015.) No charges have been brought against Maile.
On the 10 January 2015 President Jacob Zuma lead a crowd of his followers in a song “Umzini Wam”. Translated from Zulu the words are: “We are going to shoot them, and they are going to run. We are going to shoot them with the machine gun.” Although the President has been instructed not to sing hate speech songs in the past no charges have been brought against him.
Ms Bridges has made herself unpopular with the authorities because she uses her Facebook page to publicize the horrific torture and murders of whites as the reports reach her. This is in stark contrast to the media which is encouraged to under report the attacks. She has suffered a lot of verbal abuse and even threats against her life as she tries to bring the situation to the notice of the outside world. Ms. Bridges also raises funds and spends her own money on programs to assist impoverished Afrikaners. Close to a third of the white Afrikaner minority are living in abject poverty as a result of the 110 anti- white laws instituted by the ANC Government.
It remains to be seen if the court case due to resume on 2 March will demonstrate any real justice or if it will just be another anti white attack designed to silence the voice of a woman trying to save her people.