Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo is on Wednesday morning expected to deliver judgment in the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s so-called “apartheid flag” case in the Equality Court sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg.
The foundation brought an application to court to seek an order declaring that gratuitous displays of the old flag constitutes hate speech and discrimination based on race.
The lobby group AfriForum is countering the application arguing that even gratuitous displays of the old flag are protected by the right to freedom of expression.
AfriForum says the court does not have the power to make a declaration of constitutional invalidity.
It has denied being in court to defend the apartheid flag, saying the move is in defense of freedom of expression.
The organisation’s lawyer Mark Oppenheimer rejects assertion that using the apartheid flag constitutes hate speech.
He says it is important for people to be allowed to express themselves freely even if their views or symbols may be offensive, unless they’re accompanied by violence.
The South African Human Rights Commission and an organisation called Johannesburg Pride are supporting the foundation’s application.
The legal battle followed the use of the old flag during an AfriForum-organised Black Monday protest against farm murders in 2017.
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