Use of the word "boesman" by the newspaper Die Burger was not
derogatory hate speech, the Equality Court ruled in Cape Town, according to a report on

Kobus Faasen, an academic who says he is a descendant of the Khoisan
people, had claimed the newspaper's use of the word in several articles
was "contaminated with racism and more derogatory than the 'k' word".

Magistrate James Lekhuleni said there was no evidence to show Die
Burger had intended to "offend, demoralise or cause harm" to anyone,
and had adhered to its code of conduct.

Lekhuleni said the San Council had testified that the use of the word
was still a subject of debate, but that it had no objections to its use.

The council had said it was "at peace" with its use on condition it was in the right context.

Lekhuleni said the meaning of words could fluctuate with time.

Click here to read the full report, posted on