The Hate Crimes Working Group (HCWG) has called on government to fast track passing the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech bill into law. South Africans‚ it argued on Thursday‚ needed clear guidelines on how to identify and handle hate crimes.
With that in mind‚ we have compiled a list of six hate crimes which shook South Africa. They featured:
• Emmanuel Sithole
Sithole was attacked during a flare-up of xenophobic violence in Johannesburg’s Alexandra township in April 2015. The attack was captured in a series of photographs by Sunday Times photographer James Oatway.
The street vendor from Mozambique was attacked by a group of youngsters who stabbed him in the heart after he demanded payment for cigarettes they had taken from his stall.
The HCWG said its research revealed that foreign nationals were at times seen as “easy targets” of hate crime.
The group released a report after interviewing 945 victims of hate crime in the last five years.
“In 36% of cases‚ the place where the incident took place indicated that the attack was motivated by prejudice‚ as previous bias-based incidents have taken place there or because they are perceived to be ‘hot spots’ of prejudice. This is often seen in spates of attacks on foreign-owned shops clustered together geographically; attacks on groups of people of similar nationality or ethnic origin who reside in close proximity to each other‚” the group said.