Guilty: Jon Qwelane

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is still considering whether it will oppose Jon Qwelane’s efforts to rescind a judgment that found him guilt of hate speech.

The former journalist was sued by the SAHRC over his 2008 anti-gay article Call me names, but gay is NOT okay…, published in the Sunday Sun.

The SAHRC’s Vincent Moaga told Eyewitness News: “The commission is still considering the matter and as soon as we’ve come to a decision on how we will engage with this process, we’ll make a formal announcement.”

Qwelane, who is currently South Africa’s High Commissioner in Uganda, failed to respond to court papers, file any defence or appear in court and was found guilty, in absentia at the end of May, of propagating “hatred and harm against homosexuals”.

His lawyers said that they are filing an appeal to rescind the judgement on the basis that Qwelane “assumed that if it was made known that he could not be there, the matter would not proceed”.

If the judgement is rescinded, the SAHRC would have to decide whether to re-file the suit and start the case from the beginning.

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