Prophecy and the law (hate speech)


Freedom of expression

The right to freedom of expression, which can be regarded as one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, is one of the fundamental rights entrenched in the Bill of Rights.

Section 16 provides that

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes –

(a) freedom of the press and other media;

(b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;

(c) freedom of artistic creativity; and

(d) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.

(2) The right in subsection (1) does not extend to –

(a) propaganda for war;

(b) incitement of imminent violence; or

(c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

Freedom of expression is generally deemed necessary to promote scientific, artistic and cultural progress. Even the expression of false ideas (false speech) provokes further debate and the search for truth. Expression is seen as a means of fulfillment of the human personality, and is closely related to other fundamental rights and freedoms, such as the freedom of religion, belief and opinion10; the right to dignity11; the right to freedom of association12; the right to vote and to stand for public office,13 and the right to assembly.14 It is seen as a prerequisite for free political activity, and recognises the importance, both for a democratic society and individuals, of the ability to express opinions, even when those views are controversial.15 Even unpopular views are tolerated in the marketplace of ideas, and society needs to be able to hear, form and express opinions and views on a wide range of matters. One of the goals of freedom of expression is therefore to assist in the democratic decision-making and to aid the process of stability and change in society.16 This is all the more important in a country such as South Africa where the democracy is not yet firmly established and where there is a commitment to a society based on a “constitutionally protected culture of openness and democracy and universal human rights for South Africans of all ages, classes and colours”.17

Source: Stop racism

And hate speech in South Africa is defined as such

In South Africa, Act No. 4 of 2000: Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.contains the following clause:

10. (1) Subject to the proviso in section 12. no person may publish, propagate, advocate or communicate words based on one or more of the prohibited grounds, against any person, that could reasonably be construed to demonstrate a clear intention to –
(a) be hurtful;
(b) be harmful or to incite harm;
(c) promote or propagate hatred.

The crime of crimen injuria (“unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another.”)[26] may also be used to prosecute hate speech.

– Source: Wikipedia, Hate Speech, South Africa

So my question is this… how does a prophet warn a nation of impending catastrophic disaster, without “being hurtful”?!

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