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  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Statement on the outcomes of the SAHRC/SABJD Hate Speech case

COSATU has noted the outcomes of the Equality court case EQ01/2012, in which Judge Moshidi handed down judgment on the 29th June, 2017 at the South Gauteng High court in Johannesburg.

We fully agree with our lawyers, that, "Given the importance of the many legal principles at stake, we are of the view that this judgement, if left unchallenged, will have a negative effect on freedom of speech, particularly as it concerns freedom of speech of contentious political issues which COSATU, unions and civil society organisations engage in regularly". In that regard, this was not just a trial against COSATU and its International Secretary, Bongani Masuku, but effectively a trial against workers rights to offer solidarity, freedom of expression and the struggle for justice and dignity for all.

COSATU remains very clear about its respect for the rule of law, right to equality of all racial and ethnic groups, freedom of expression, commitment to unity in diversity and its proud history in the fight against discrimination, anti-semitism, apartheid, colonialism, Zionism and all forms of racial supremacy and intolerance.

The proud record of heroic Jews in our ranks, who selflessly fought against apartheid, such as Joe Slovo, the former Chief of Staff of the ANC military wing, Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK), Dennis Goldberg Rivonia trialist with former President Nelson Mandela, and many other great stalwarts of our revolution, will forever inspire our struggle for full equality, freedom and justice for all.

In that regard, it may result in the effective erosion of the rights and democratic gains workers and all the oppressed fought for all these years, particularly to advance the cause of justice in South Africa and all over the world, where people suffer varying forms of oppression and subjugation, such as the children, women and people of Palestine.

In that regard, COSATU shall be appealing the case to affirm the importance of our constitutionally guaranteed rights and defend the cause of justice and equality, particularly in a country with such a horrific history of racial dehumanisation, subjugation and discrimination of inferior races by the master race, using all institutions and means at its disposal to perpetuate inequalities in the name of fighting for equality.

For more information on the background of the case, herein below is attached a statement released by COSATU during the trial, summarising the essence and historical context of this case in its proper context.

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