Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

A public apology from Velaphi Khumalo will send a "signal" to other people to not utter racist remarks‚ the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) argued on Tuesday.

The SAHRC brought a complaint against Khumalo following his Facebook rants in which he called on blacks to do to whites what "Hitler did to the Jews".

The commission is asking that Khumalo publicly apologise for his statements‚ which he made in 2016‚ as they constitute hate speech.

Khumalo, through his counsel, has argued in the Equality Court‚ sitting in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg‚ that his comments were in response to Penny Sparrow‚ who called black people monkeys and therefore they did not amount to hate speech.

The commission initially wanted the court to direct Khumalo to pay R150‚000‚ which would be suspended on condition that he does not repeat the remarks. However‚ counsel for the SAHRC‚ Advocate Mark Oppenheimer‚ told the court on Tuesday that part of the settlement agreement was for Khumalo to acknowledge that his remarks constitute hate speech.

"The suspension of the R150‚000 falls away because part of the agreement was that he agrees that his statements constitute hate speech‚" argued Oppenheimer. "A public apology would send a signal to others that they should not do the same."

The ANC lodged the first complaint against Khumalo in the Equality Court‚ which was sitting in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court. The court ordered him to pay R30‚000 to a charity and apologise publicly.

Judge Roland Sutherland has reserved judgment in the matter.

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