By BO Staff Writer
The Black First Land First (BLF) movement responded to the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes & Hate Speech Bill (Hate Crimes Bill) by submitting its alternative Bill to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, yesterday.
The department had called for public submissions on its so-called “Hate Crimes” Bill which proclaims to finally criminalize racism. However, the BLF submissions argue that the whole Hate Crimes Bill is woefully inadequate to address racism. The organisation has instead presented the committee with an alternative Bill titled “Anti-Racism Bill of 2017” to consider.
BLF’s Anti-Racism Bill clarifies, amongst other things, what racism is, who can and can’t be racist, and who are considered ‘black’ people under Black Consciousness. It’s also more radical in its punitive measures, away from the five years and three years minimum sentences suggested by the “Hate Crimes Bill”. BLF suggests instead a minimum of 10 and 20 years for attempted transgressions and actual transgressions respectively.
Moreover, unlike the government’s “Hate Crimes Bill”, the BLF Bill calls for the banning of racist organizations such as Afriforum, Solidarity and the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB).
The BLF Anti-Racism Bill also calls for the amendment of Section 25 of the Constitution so as to address the land question which the movement claims is the cornerstone to ending racism.
Other important provisions in the BLF Bill are principles that include “blacks can’t be racist”. The organization says that if the principle of “blacks can’t be racist” is not included in the so-called “Hate Crimes” Bill when passed as law, it shall amount to legislation that criminalizes black people when they fight against racism.
There are many other important and exciting provisions suggested by the BLF Anti-Racism Bill such as reparations for land theft, genocide, anti-racism public education, special courts, a media tribunal and a Chapter 9-like Institution to serve as an anti-racism barometer.
It remains to be seen if the committee shall call upon BLF to give the oral presentation of its alternative “Anti-Racism Bill of 2017”. On its part, BLF says it shall be undertaking a national education process to warn blacks that the proposed government legislation is going to criminalise black resistance against racism and that it must therefore be resisted. The movement says it shall unveil the Anti-Racism Bill 2017 at its Blacks In Dialogue (BID) event scheduled for the 25 February 2017 in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Read the full Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes & Hate Speech Bill below: