South Africa at present has no legislation covering crimes that are motivated by prejudice or that specifically target people on the basis of factors such as race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. CoRMSA is a member of the Hate Crimes Working Group which is lobbying for the introduction of policy and legislation on hate crimes as this is one of the means necessary to address xenophobic violence in South Africa. Below are some documents that provide further information on the concept of hate crimes as well as the reforms that need to be made.

Hate Crime Working Group User Guide – 2014 – 2017

CoRMSA Legal Brief on Hate Crimes

A legal brief written by legal firm Webber Wentzel that provides the international legal framework for hate crimes, examines existing South African legislation and makes recommendations regarding ways to address current gaps within the legal system.

Hate Crimes Working Group Background Document

This document explains what a hate crime is, the impact of hate crimes on victims and makes recommendations about how South Africa can address hate crimes.

Other useful links and documents:

South African Documents

Victim Empowerment Programme Policy Guidelines (the VEP guidelines specifically identify victims of hate victimisation as a priority target group – see page 11).

Victim Empowerment Programme 10th Anniversary Conference Report -18-20 August 2008 (the Resolutions of the Conference note a commitment to developing “a comprehensive legislative and policy framework for hate crimes including xenophobia and in particular for LGBT people” – point 9 on page 168).

Exploring Homophobic Victimisation in Gauteng, South Africa (academic article that looks at the issue of hate crimes in terms of homophobic cases).

User Guide: Hate and Bias Crimes Monitoring Form

Hate Crimes in South Africa: A background paper for the Hate Crimes Working Group

Ten Point Plan for Combating Hate Crimes


International Documents

Human Rights First – 10 Point Plan for Combating Hate Crimes

Human Rights First – Hate Crimes Surveys and Reports

OSCE Guide for Legislators – Hate Crimes Laws: A Practical Guide

OSCE Guide for NGOs – Preventing and Responding to Hate Crimes