AfriForum’s ‘Kill the boer’ case dismissed

The Johannesburg High Court has dismissed, with costs, the AfriForum’s hate speech case against EFF leaders Julius Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlovu.

AfriForum took the duo to court for singing the struggle song Dubul ibhunu [kill the boer] during the Brendin Horner murder case in the Free State last year. Horner was strangled to death on the farm he managed.

During the trial, AfriForum argued that the song constitutes hate speech. The lobby group said the song incited violence and posed a danger toward white farmers.

However, Malema said the song was taken out of context explaining that it actually forms part of the country’s heritage and does not amount to giving a command. Malema said when they were singing, they never said ‘kill the Boer instead they sang ‘kiss the Boer’.

Handing down his judgement on Thursday, Judge Edwin Molahlehi found that there was no evidence or testimony showing that the song directly incited violence.

Molahlehi, who disqualified five AfriForum witnesses, said he had no reason to reject Malema’s evidence. Adding that the complainant failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the song constitutes hate speech and that it had severe repercussions on farm attacks.

Reacting to the judgement, EFF spokesperson Sinawo Thambo said in a statement: “The case by the racists, which sought to erase the cultural element of the liberation struggle in South Africa, has fallen flat on its face.”

Thambo said the judgement reaffirms Malema’s views that struggle songs should not be interpreted literally, “but recognised as a critique of a system of oppression”.

“The judgement is an important intervention in the lies of white supremacy, which always present mediocre white opinion as expert and worthy of changing legislation and prohibiting free speech.

“The landmark judgement must be welcomed by all progressive forces as a victory against the racists who want to fly the Apartheid flag and sing the song of torture known as Die Stem, in our national anthem. It is a victory against hypocrites, who seek to erase liberation history, and promote a history of the domination of black people through racist statues, songs, and flags,” Thambo said.

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