The gratuitous display of the old Apartheid flag constitutes hate speech, the South African Equality Court ruled in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo said the old flag could only be displayed for artistic, academic, journalist and public interest reasons.
“Any gratuitous display of the old flag beside being racist and discriminatory demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful, harmful and incites harm. It promotes and propagates hatred against black people. It constitutes hate speech.” Mojapelo said.
Mojapelo pointed out that displaying the flag goes against the constitutional values of building a non-racial society, united in its diversity.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) and South African Human Rights Commission had approached the courts seeking for an order declaring displaying the Apartheid flag a hate speech.
NMF CEO Sello Hatang welcomed the judgment. He called on those who opposed their application to work with them to build one South Africa.
“We want to join hands with other parties and say let us not make our woundedness hurt the future. We should not poison the future with the gratuitous display of the flag. As South Africans let us join hands and say nothing will divide us.” Hatang said.
The African National Congress acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete said the judgment is a victory for all who want unity in the country.
The Apartheid flag was used from 1928 to 1994. South Africa now uses a new flag which came into effect after independence in 1994.