Angie Makwetla, Bongani Majola and Justice Albie Sachs at the SAHRC hearing on racism and social media on 15 February 2017. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.
  • South African Human Rights Commission SAHRC
  • Racist behaviour
  • Facebook posts racism
  • Albie Sachs
  • Online racism

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Human Rights Commission has completed its hearings into online racism and has urged South Africans to use social media to promote unity.

The commission held a two-day hearing into the increase of complaints over racism on social media.

The hearings saw presentations from various sectors of society including the Facebook team in Africa, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), lobby groups for freedom of expression, various government departments, the Mandela and Kathrada Foundations, and more.

At the end of the hearings commissioner Angie Makwetla urged South Africans to sign the anti-racism pledge.

“Race-related complaints, consistently represent the largest proportion of alleged violation of the right to equality received by the commission.”

At the same time former Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs says social media can be used in many positive ways.

“This social media can do extraordinary work to combat racism, to get beyond that and get people together and enable people to be who they are, living together with shared values in one country.”

Sachs says the racism from the past has clearly not disappeared.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)