The Equality Court, sitting in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, has wrapped up testimonies in a hate speech case brought by the Chinese Association Gauteng (TCA) against 12 respondents.
The case was lodged after the respondents posted a series of emotionally charged comments on the Facebook pages of investigative television show Carte Blanche and the Karoo donkey sanctuary.
Carte Blanche had broadcasted an investigative insert on the treatment of donkeys in early 2017.
For the past several days, the court heard how the comments made by the respondents on social media constituted to hate speech, harassment and unfair discrimination.
The comments were that Chinese people were “not human”, “vile” and “barbaric”.
“We believe the court will see that our case against these heinous comments is indisputable,” the association’s chairperson, Erwin Pon, said in a statement this week.
“In a diverse democracy such as ours, underpinned by principles of equality and dignity, it cannot be acceptable to say about a particular group of people, ‘wipe them out’ or ‘get rid’ of them,” Pon added.
According to the association, four respondents said they were willing to “tender unconditional apologies” and reach a settlement.
“These include, among others, that they pin their apologies on their Facebook profiles for a period of six months and do 500 hours of community service to remove anti-Chinese hate speech on social media platforms.”
The association said closing arguments would be presented in court in February 2020.