'Shoot the Boer' freedom song banned

Judge says South African ruling party may not sing freedom struggle song as new context may incite hate crimes.


    South African judge Collin Lamont has ordered African National Congress youth league leader Julius Malema and his ruling ANC party not to sing the freedom struggle song 'Dubul ibhunu'.

    Lamont called the song hate speech and ordered that the words not be used publicly or privately.

    The Afrikaans interest group Afriforum seems pleased with the decision. They say the struggle song, loosely translated, means "shoot the Boer".

    Another line in the song is also loosely translated as, "They are scared, the cowards. You shoot the Boer. They rob, these dogs".

    The song refers to Afrikaners in South Africa - the white minority ethnic group who ruled the country during the Apartheid era.

    Afriforum argues the word Boer refers to Afrikaners or farmers and say the lyrics incite violence towards their ethnic group.

    They have a point.

    Malema is a very public - and some would argue - influential figure in South Africa. Perhaps someone might take the worlds literally. I don't see it happening though.

    Malema argues the contentious lyrics were taken out of context and that the word Boer does not refer to Afrikaners, but to the system of apartheid.

    During the fight against colonialism, struggle songs were what kept freedom fighters going. The psychological encouragement they needed to overthrow minority rule.

    Years later, these songs have become part of history - they cannot be easily wiped away by a court order. The song is a legacy, part of the ANC's history.

    Minutes after the ruling was made to ban the song, ANC supporters started singing the controversial song - making it clear they will not be silenced.

    What about all the other struggle songs that have similar lyrics or imply the same thing. Do we just erase those songs from history too?

    Many black South Africans are angry. Some have even said they feel insulted. They say they feel the years they fought against the apartheid regime are being slowly erased.

    Just think about it. The majority of people here are black and they feel they are being told by the white minority not to embrace their heritage. I understand their anger.

    Where does one draw the line between hate speech and a song many South Africans see has an important part of the country's history?

    This ruling may have opened a can of worms. Malema plans to challenge the court ruling - so the matter isn't over.

    I suspect the fiery youth league leader may sing the song in public again ... he has done it before. Police didn't arrest ANC supporters singing the shoot the Boer song outside the court room on Monday.

    What will happen when ANC supporters gather at a political rally and thousands start belting out the tune?

    Some people are calling this case a black versus white issue. Some are even saying had the judge been black the ruling might have been different.

    Just when you think South Africa is moving forward with regards to race issues ... events like this remind us the country has a long way to go.



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