Jon Qwelane guilty of hate speech


King of de Jungle
Mar 17, 2005

Former Sunday Sun columnist Jon Qwelane was found guilty of hate speech by the Johannesburg Equality Court on Tuesday.

The court found that a cartoon in his column amounted to hate speech, and that both his article and the cartoon propagated hatred and harm.

The article was published in the newspaper on July 20 2008, under the headline: "Call me names, but gay is NOT okay."

Qwelane was ordered to make an unconditional apology to the gay and lesbian community, and pay R100 000 to the SA Human Rights Commission.

Read the full text of Jon Qwelane's column in the Sunday Sun

No costs were ordered.

"We are quite pleased that the court has found in our favour ... R100 000 is quite a reasonable amount," said SAHRC spokesperson Vincent Moaga.

"The focus is not on the money, but the message coming out of this. With recent hate speech and crimes against the community, the court is sending positive messages," he said.

The SAHRC initiated court proceedings in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

Qwelane did not make much of an appearance in the course of the trial. He failed to sign court papers presented to him by a clerk and did not file responding papers.

The court ruled that, as it had only one version of the story, the SAHRC's argument would be accepted.

"From here, we will have to look at the judgment and make sure that Qwelane abides by the court order," Moaga said.

In 2008, the press ombudsman found the paper was "disparaging" of homosexuals in publishing Qwelane's column.

Ombudsman Joe Thloloe received nearly 1 000 complaints after the paper published the column, he said in a statement on July 29 2008.

Thloloe found that the thrust of the column was a call for a revision of the country's Constitution to take away the rights that gays and lesbians had won in the new South Africa.

"This is the same type of debate as those on the death penalty and on proportional representation. Debates about amendments to the Constitution are protected under the freedom of speech clauses of the Constitution. Qwelane has the right to call for amendments."

'Well within the law'
Although Qwelane expressed reservations about homosexuality and put down gays and lesbians, he did not advocate hatred or the harming of gays and lesbians.

"It is robust language, but not hate speech," said Thloloe.

He also did not equate homosexuality with bestiality.

"What he does say is that after allowing gay marriages it will not be long before we legalise bestiality. He is not equating the two, but placing them on different rungs on a ladder, with bestiality lower. By implication however he is placing heterosexuality higher."

Asked whether the column could lead to violence against gays and lesbians, Thloloe responded: "To me it appears most unlikely."

There was nothing in the column inciting hatred and calling for the harming of homosexuals.

"Columnists are protected by the Constitution for as long as their comments don't propagate war, incite imminent violence and advocate hatred that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

"Qwelane was well within the law but fell foul of the press code."

Qwelane is South Africa's ambassador to Uganda. - Sapa and Staff reporter

About time this idiot realised the consequences of shooting his mouth off. :rolleyes:


Honorary Master
Apr 21, 2008
Qwelane should just stay in Uganda, they sound like his type of people.

We should close the embasy and have sanctions against them.


Executive Member
Feb 14, 2007
You should check out the comments in the Sowetan article about this judgment... then you'll see hate speech.

I wonder how his being found guilty affects his position as an ambassador of our country ? :rolleyes:
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Voluntarily Retired
Feb 20, 2008
My head nearly fell off I laughed so much when I heard it this morning.

JQ has really gone off the rails since he left 702.


Expert Member
Mar 19, 2010
JQ was, and is, a world class racist.

Karma is a b1tch my son.


Expert Member
Jan 11, 2007
He is entitled to his views, he is not however entitled to force his value system on others by outlawing homosexuality or changing the constitution.

Basically anyone who has a different opinion than him should be punished by law...wonder how the apartheid guys felt about that...oh wait...they thought the same way.



Honorary Master
Jan 22, 2005
Wonder if they'll start nailing priests, imans, rabbis etc reading from scripture next?


Honorary Master
Oct 23, 2006
Wonder if they'll start nailing priests, imans, rabbis etc reading from scripture next?
Fat chance. ANC will reluctantly sack their ministers but this event is not likely to happen in my lifetime.