London: U2 frontman Bono has provoked criticism in South Africa for apparently endorsing an anti-apartheid song, which includes the lyrics ‘Shoot the Boer’.
The Irish pop star compared the song sung during the fight against apartheid with Irish Republican rebel songs, reports a news channel.
“When I was a kid and I’d sing songs I remember my uncles singing... rebel songs about the early days of the Irish Republican Army,” Bono said in an interview with the South African Sunday Times.
He went on to sing a song whose lyrics spoke of carrying guns and readying them for action.
“We sang this and it’s fair to say it’s folk music,” he told the newspaper.
But Bono said such songs should not be sung in the wrong context.
“Would you want to sing that in a certain community? It’s pretty dumb. It’s about where and when you sing those songs. There’s a rule for that kind of music,” he said.
His comments came at the start of U2``s tour of South Africa.
But callers to local radio stations said the song stirs up racial hatred.
“That’s hate speech. They don’t know our history at all,” said one caller to a South African radio talk show.
The song has been at the centre of a political storm in South Africa, with the controversial leader of the African National Congress`s youth league, Julius Malema, locked in a legal battle with a white lobby group over whether it should be banned as hate speech.