AN inter-racial couple living in a block of flats in Musgrave has become the target of racist posters and letters pinned to the door of their flat.
The woman, who asked not to be identified, said their ordeal began about three weeks ago when they found letters and posters with derogatory messages left pinned to their door.
The couple, who do not drink alcohol because of their religious beliefs, also had alcohol poured over their doorstep.
She said they had lived in the flat for four years, but the racial abuse had only started recently.
“We brought the matter to the attention of the body corporate, but were shocked when they showed us a file filled with hate mail that they had received over the past year,” she said, adding that the mail in the file was not directed at them specifically.
“We just want this stop. We are scared that it might escalate to physical abuse,” she said.
The woman said their vehicles had also been vandalised.
“It started with someone putting nails in our tyres and damaging the car’ side mirrors. I have been to the police and was told that if unless we had a suspect, they couldn’t help us. What bother’s us most that in every incident the same paper and writing is evident,”she said.
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Constable Zanele Khomo from Durban Central SAPS advised the couple to open a case of intimidation or crimen injuria at the police station.
“It does not matter whether a suspect is known or unknown to them, it is the duty of police to investigate that. They must visit their nearest police station before everything gets out of hand,” she said.
Earlier this year Cabinet announced that it had approved a bill to criminalize hate crimes and hate speech. The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crime and Hate Speech Bill is currently in the processing stages in Parliament. Government recently criminalized malicious communications in South Africa through the Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill setting out a number of vague new messaging rules which could see you facing a hefty amount of jail time and/or a fine – even if your message is private.
“There is no question that incidents of racism and racial discrimination are all too frequent in our society and we are confident that the Bill, once passed, will contribute to eradicating not only racism, but all forms of discrimination, in our country.”
“The qualifying criteria for hate speech is a clear intention to be harmful or to incite harm or promote or propagate hatred on the basis of age, albinism, birth, colour, culture, disability, ethnic or social origin, gender or gender identity, HIV status, language, nationality, migrant or refugee status, race, religion, or sex, which includes intersex or sexual orientation,” Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery said.
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