Over the last 150 days we have learned much about the power of the habitual in post-millennial, post-apartheid South Africa. We have heard it in the grumbling, cavilling, quarrelling and grousing about the logic (or lack of) of government decrees. We have also seen it in the defiance of logic among the many bourgeois folks who mistook their entitlement for rights, whether to go running, do yoga on the beach, surf, get takeaway coffees, or to purchase items subjected to restricted trade… We saw it in the contradictory messages relayed by official government channels, in the conflict between some experts advising government, between government officials and such experts, and in the ways in which opposition parties contradicted themselves as they opposed government proclamations.
IN THE EQUALITY COURT OF JOHANNESBURG
HELD AT THE JOHANNESBURG MAGISTRATE’S COURT
CASE NUMBER: 44/EQ JHB
IN THE MATTER BETWEEN:
SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISION COMPLAINANT
JON QWULANE RESPONDENT
1. This is an application for judgment by default in terms of Rule 32 of Act 32 of 1944. The court finds that there has been proper service on the respondent. The respondent was not in attendance at court. The complainant relied on the founding affidavit and argued the matter.
2. The complaint is undefended. The respondent has filed no papers. In the circumstances there is only one version before court. It is that of the complainant. The court is not going to repeat the argument presented as it already forms part of the record. This argument is accepted.
3. In the totality of the submissions tendered by the complainant the court finds the following:
3.1 The complainant has the necessary locus standi to institute these proceedings.
3.2 This court has the necessary jurisdiction to adjudicate this matter.
3.3 The contents of the article and cartoon amount to hate speech (see here).
3.4 The article and cartoon propagates hatred and harm against homosexuals. Homosexuals as represented by the complainant have suffered emotional pain and suffering as a result of the action of the respondent.
4. The court therefore grants judgment in favour of the complainant as follows:
4.1 The respondent is ordered to make an unconditional apology to the gay and lesbian community. Such apology is to be published in the Sunday Sun as well as one other national newspaper.
4.2 Damages in an amount of RI 00 000-00 is granted. Such amount is to be paid to the complainant and to be used to promote and raise awareness regarding the rights of gays and lesbians.
4.3 No costs are ordered.
DATED AT JOHANNESBURG THIS THE 31ST DAY OF MAY 2011.
NM KARIKAN ADDITIONAL MAGISTRATE (EQUALITY COURT) JOHANNESBIRGBACK TO TOP