The recently-banned apartheid-era flag made an unwelcome appearance at the Rugby World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Wales in Yokohama, Japan on Sunday.
Gratuitous displays of the flag were recently banned, with the Equality Court ruling that flying the orange, white and blue banner could amount to hate speech.
Apartheid flag rears its ugly head
However, early during the match – where the Boks edged Wales to make their third World Cup final – the infamous colours were spotted in the crowd.
Gauteng education MEC was one of the first to ring the alarm after the flag’s appearance.
“That flag, unfortunately is spoiling it! This team @Springboks belongs to all of us. Let’s avoid hurting each other unnecessarily. #StrongerTogether,” he Tweeted.
City of Ekurhuleni mayor, Mzwandile Masina also had a bit to say about the shameful display.
“More reasons I have no business in supporting this team, which some supporters still carry Apartheid flag. Shame on this barbaric display of apartheid Flag when democracy has embraced all South Africans.”
Others also chipped in.
This follows soon after there was a furore over a bag sold by Woolworths in Australia, which had a striking resemblance to the apartheid flag.
It has since been taken off the shelves by the retailer.
What the Equality Court says
Judge Phineas Mojapelo, who made the ruling at the Equality Court, made it clear that displays of the apartheid flag should be confined to cases of journalistic, academic and artistic expression, which serves in the interest of the public.
About gratuitous displays of the flag, he said;
“It demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful, to be harmful and incite harm and it, in fact, promotes and propagates hatred against black people … it constitutes hate speech.”
Judge Phineas Mojapelo