The 31st of January 2017 is the last day to submit comments to the Department of Justice over the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill (Hate Speech Bill). The Rational Standard encourages all individuals to submit their comments to: hatecrimes@justice.gov.za

Rational Standard commentators have extensively criticised the bill, deeming it unconstitutional, illiberal and grossly incompetent and tyrannical. Below are some articles on the bill:

Submit a Comment (Courtesy of Paul Hjul)

South Africa’s legislative processes provides for public comment on draft legislation and while the South African government has a habit of not properly applying its mind to comments it receives there are several instances where overwhelming opposition (with government mail servers tipping over) have caused a bill to stall or for government to make stupid (and therefore reviewable) moves along the way.

The sending of a single email (which can be cut and pasted from the text below) is something which people can do. Presumably from the experience of certain legislation in the past the State Law Advisers have made a dedicated email address of hatecrimes@justice.gov.za. The deadline is today and so few individuals (or groups) who have not already started to work on submissions (fuller details can be found here) will be able to do much more than simply add the voice to what is quite a loud chorus of concerns.

Example Emails that you can send:

Average Response

Dear Ms Ross

I am writing to you in connection with the proposed “Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, 2016” for which public comment has been invited, and extended until the 31st January.

I am deeply opposed to adopting the proposed Bill as it is fatally flawed in conception and design and rather than addressing the root problem of hate motivated criminal behaviour it will create a basis upon which free speech is curbed and vulnerable individuals

I therefore propose that the Department return to the drawing board and not proceed to seek to pass such dangerous legislation.

Regards

Short and Sweet

Dear Government

Stop trying to police things that shouldn’t be policed or are unpoliceable.

Supporting already existing submissions

Dear Ms Ross

I am writing to add my voice to the opposition to the proposed “Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, 2016” as currently formulated and endorse the written submissions of the Free Market Foundation.

Conclusion

Don’t hesitate to write longer, more detailed submissions. Just make sure you do so by the end of today!

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