CGF Articles & Editorials


By Terrance M. Booysen and reviewed by Osborne Molatudi (Partner: Hogan Lovells)

South Africa’s first black President, the late Nelson Mandela famously said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion.  People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”  It is against this backdrop that the issue of racism needs to be tackled, especially in light of the recent racist utterances and numerous incidents of vicious crimes which have been perpetrated in South Africa under the guise of racial hate and the associated social intolerances.

Strangely, these utterances continued unabated this past December holiday period despite the Bill being mooted.

Notwithstanding the many pieces of international legislation, including a number of anti-racism treaties to which South Africa is a signatory, the scourge of racism and crimes of hate continue unabated.  Indeed, whilst the South African Constitution sets out numerous rights and freedoms, in reality, many people still suffer the same effects of discrimination as was the case in the ‘apartheid’ era and prior to Mandela’s release from twenty seven years of incarceration.  Principally, this is the reason why the South African government has published -- for public comment in the Government Gazette -- the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill (‘the Bill’) which was approved for public consultation by Cabinet on 19 October 2016.

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Salven    last year

If the basis for this article be the quoted view of Nelson Mandela, then I take issue with this basis. While Mandela assumes that "love" can be learned in contrast to hate, and therefore racial tolerance be simply learnt; and that is the central reason by which our nation be reformed from the embedded ills of apartheid.
The evidence of our ever increasing intolerant, lawless, 'cold lovingness', shows that no amount of politically correct behavior modifications are helping to abate any such behavior.
On the contrary, the Bible, speaks differently from the assumptions of Mandela. It says of the human heart, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?". Needless to say, the Bible provides an ageless solution to substantively overcome this human condition, hence giving a hope of enabling one overcome the such maladies of racism.