The South African Human Rights Commission has found that King Goodwill Zwelithini comments on migrants do not constitute hate speech and have found him not guilty.
Zwelithini was reported to the commission last year after saying "migrants should pack their bags and go back to where they came from". The deadly xenophobic violence in Kwazulu Natal which left seven people dead was largely blamed on his comments.
According to EWN reporter Clement Manyathela, the commission's report said that while Zwelithini's comments were hurtful and harmful, they don't amount to hate speech.
The commission is also not convinced that Zwelithinis statement that "foreigners are a big problem that needs to be dealt with" enticed violence.
The commission recommended that Zwelithini reconciles with the migrants in KZN, because he did violate their rights.
Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, Chairperson of the SAHRC Commission, says the statements made by Zwelithini did not fall under the threshold of hate speech when interpreted according to section 10.1C of the Human Rights Act.
Mushwana says there is nowhere in Zwelithini's speech where he tried to persuade people to do bad things to migrants.
Yes it was harmful for migrants to hear the person calling them criminals, you dirty our streets and all that...— Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, Chairperson of the SAHRC Commission
Listen to the full conversation below:
This article first appeared on 702 : Zulu king not guilty of hate speech - SAHRC