Criminal complaints against 100 social media users

AfriForum laid criminal complaints against 100 social media users on Thursday for allegedly posting messages containing hate speech‚ racism or incitement to violence.

The civil rights organisation’s deputy CEO Ernst Roets said some of the messages featured calls to kill people.

“There seems to be a general impression that whatever you say on social media is somehow acceptable and will not have any consequences‚” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“Public outrage and media coverage are also reserved for or limited to a select few statements on social media. We therefore invited the public to send us screenshots of hate speech‚ racism and incitement to violence. The response was overwhelming.”

Affidavits‚ he added‚ had been prepared with the assistance of police and criminal law expert Dr Llewellyn Curlewis.

Police will have to verify the identity of people behind the offensive social media accounts.

“We are concerned about the intensity of some of the messages and screenshots that we received. Unlike other cases that received significant attention in the media and which revolved mostly around racist slurs‚ many of the screenshots that we received contain calls to arms and requests or calls to kill or harm people. We are worried that‚ despite their more severe nature‚ these cases are not dealt with or condemned in the same manner‚” said Roets.

Criminal complaints‚ spelt out on the list of 100 people or user accounts‚ include: incitement to commit murder‚ incitement to commit rape and incitement to commit arson.

TimesLIVE

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