The South African Jewish Board of Deputies is horrified by the shocking racial attack in Mpumalanga referred to as the 'coffin assault'. We condemn this racist incident in which Victor Mlotshwa was kidnapped, forced inside a coffin and threatened with his life.
Most South Africans strive each day to build a country in which human rights, including the principles of dignity and freedom, are afforded to all who live in it. Acts of humiliation and hate have no place in a multi-cultural and democratic South Africa and we call on all concerned citizens to speak out on incidences of racism and discrimination wherever they take place.
This terrible event once again highlights the need for increased awareness and education on the scourge of hate crimes. Legislation on hate crimes would not only combat and assist in the prevention of incidences of hate but allow for formal monitoring of cases which would provide important data on the scale of this important issue.
We urge all South Africans to give their input on the proposed Prevention of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2017.