Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is encouraged by the Supreme Court of Appeal’s unanimous judgment on the ‘old Apartheid flag’ case wherein it has been affirmed that gratuitous displays of the ‘old Apartheid flag’ do indeed constitute hate speech.

The case began at the Equality Court in 2019, where the court gave a declaratory order confirming that gratuitous displays of the ‘old Apartheid flag’ was declared to be hate speech. AfriForum NPC appealed this judgment to the SCA and has subsequently failed to show why gratuitous displays of the ‘old Apartheid flag’ should not constitute hate speech.

The court agreed with our arguments that gratuitous displays of the ‘old Apartheid flag impair nation-building and legitimize white supremacy. Today’s judgment is a win for everybody in South Africa that is committed to protecting the dignity of all people, for the challenging project of nation-building and healing from the profound woundedness we carry as a nation. Everybody deserves to be free from discrimination and hate speech, nobody should be terrorised by this symbol of hatred, division and white supremacy.

As the unanimous judgment from the SCA states, “Those who display the old flag convey a brazen, destructive message that they celebrate and long for the racism of the past in which only white people were treated as first-class citizens while Black people were denigrated and demeaned.” The court went further and stated that displays of the flag amount to “glorification and veneration of the hate-filled system that contributed to most of the ills that [beset] our society today.”

We would like to thank our legal team, Rupert Candy Attorneys, our counsel, Mr Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC, Andrea Gabriel, Ayanda Msimang, Ben Winks, Jabulile Chanza and Karabo Raganya as well as everybody who has supported our case from its inception. The legacy of Nelson Mandela continues to be in our collective hands.