The constitutional protection of freedom of speech and the prohibition of hate speech in South Africa : promises and pitfalls
Freedom of expression is one of the most important rights protected under the Constitution. It is as a pre-condition of the enjoyment of all other rights (except, may be the right to life). The right of freedom of expression is the mouthpiece of all other rights, without which all other rights are as good as dead. Freedom of expression has been found to be of importance for several reasons :- the search for truth rationale; the political process rationale; individual self-fulfilment. Despite its resonance, freedom of expression is not absolute in South Africa. It is limited by other equally important fundamental rights contained in the Constitutional document, such as the right to equality, dignity and privacy. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa makes it clear that some forms of expression that have racial connotations are not worthy of Constitutional protection 'from the word go'. These types of expression have the potential to debase the foundations upon which our constitution is premised. They show total disregard to the values of human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights.
- Law