HRC calls for peaceful protest against Inxeba The Wound

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says people against the screening of Inxeba: The Wound should restrict their protests to the confines of the law.

Several screenings of the local film have been postponed due to threats of intimidation and violence. Producers of the film laid a complaint‚ in response to the threats‚ with the SAHRC and the Commission for Gender Equality.

The SAHRC on Wednesday called on “all who feel aggrieved by Inxeba: The Wound to exercise their right to protest within the confines of the law‚ and to engage more constructively about the concerns to ensure that while the protests demonstrate an objection‚ the act of protest remains lawful and in accordance with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

“The Commission would thus like to urge those who are protesting against the film‚ and those who support it‚ to be mindful of the fact that disputes over constitutionally enshrined rights – the right to freedom of expression and the right to dignity of cultural‚ religious‚ and linguistic communities – should be ventilated in a peaceful manner.”

The film has sparked controversy in South Africa‚ arising from allegations that it violates the sanctity of cultural practices‚ which by their nature are secret.

“Human rights‚ freedom of expression‚ and freedom from gender oppression and inequality are protected by our Constitution. Inxeba is not for everyone‚ but there are many young South Africans‚ particularly from the black queer community‚ who have every right to watch and engage with it because it reflects something of their own experience‚” said director John Trengove.

“Inxeba is not going to go away and we are invested in making sure that people who do want to see the film will get to do so.”

The HRCSA said although the right to protest was protected by the constitution‚ it had to be exercised without destruction or violence.