Johannesburg: The conviction of a youth wing
leader of ruling African National Congress of hate speech for singing a controversial anthem by a court has been criticised by the party which termed it as a ban on ANC`s anti-apartheid
Judge Collion Lamont yesterday ruled in the Equality
Court here that singing of anti-apartheid struggle song known
as "dubula ibhunu," which loosely translate as "shoot the
white farmer" and "they are rapists" an indigenous language,
constituted hate speech.
"The ANC is appalled at the decision because we think the
decision does not appreciate the history of the ANC and the
history of the liberation movement," spokesman Keith Khoza said as he indicated that the ANC would consider the judgement before deciding how to proceed on the matter.
By contrast, AfriForum, whose youth wing brought the
application against Malema at the Equality Court, said it was
extremely happy with the ruling.
The court had said that the songs amount to hate speech
against whites and were as divergent and polarised as the
content of the song. The judge charged ANC Youth League leader
Julius Malema with hate speech while hearing a case filed by
the Afrikaner group AfriForum.
AfriForum had argued the words threatened the safety of
Afrikaners and farmers.
Violating the judgement, a group of some 100 supporters
broke out singing the song outside the court.
Theunis Botha, leader of the Christian Democratic Party,
called for the ANC to dismiss Malema, who is facing a separate
internal disciplinary hearing for allegedly bringing the ANC
into disrepute by among other things threatening to intervene
in bringing down the government in neighbouring Botswana.
Jan Bosman, Secretary of another white group, the
Afrikanerbond, said in a statement: "The race-card... is now
regularly played. The inevitable consequence is that the broad
South African society is becoming more race-based and
The South African Communist Party came out in support of
Malema with spokesman Malesela Maleka saying the decision in
the Equality Court was "regrettable."
Opposition Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder, also
exclusively white, said the party hoped the judgment would be
the first step in getting the country "out of the swamp of
hate speech and racism".
"The contrast between the Mandela approach after 1994 and
the Malema approach the past year, shouted out for an
adjustment," Mulder said.