‘Kill the boer’ tug of war between EFF, AfriForum far from over

Civil rights organisation AfriForum has applied another strategy to strengthen its pull in its tug of war with the EFF over the controversial “kill the boer” song.

In August 2022, the high court in Johannesburg dismissed with costs the group’s hate speech case against EFF leaders Julius Malema and MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

AfriForum took the duo to court for singing the song during the Brendin Horner murder case in Free State in 2021. Horner was strangled to death on the farm he managed.

During trial, AfriForum argued that the liberation struggle song constitutes hate speech. It added that it incites violence and poses danger towards white farmers.

Malema countered the claim and argued that the song was taken out of context. He said it forms part of the country’s heritage and does not amount to giving a command.

Malema said when EFF members sang the song, they never said “kill the boer”, but instead sang “kiss the boer”.

Handing down his judgment, judge Edwin Molahlehi found that there was no evidence or testimony showing that the song directly incites violence.

While the EFF basks in its court victory, AfriForum has resolved to pull the lash further and drag the red berets to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

It announced that it has filed an application requesting the recusal of acting judge of appeal Raylene Keightley, accusing her of bias.

Said AfriForum head of public relations, Ernst van Zyl: “This action follows revelations that acting judge of appeal Keightley expressed strong opinions against AfriForum in a 2018 court case, which suggests that the organisation has clung to ‘anachronistic positions’.”

“During that case, Keightley stated that AfriForum might consider asking for her recusal if she were to preside over any future case in which they are involved – a situation that arose now with the ‘Kill the Boer’ case in the [SCA].”

Van Zyl said the organisation’s application is in the interest of justice, adding that it is a shield protecting judicial credibility.

“Judges with clear perceived biases, as in Keightley’s case, create a substantial risk of eroding trust in these crucial legal institutions.

“A judge who truly respects the integrity of our legal system must act prudently and step aside from cases where they know a potential conflict of interest or clear bias exists.”

However, the EFF said the application is a waste of time.

It stated: “The [EFF] is disgusted by AfriForum’s consistent and opportunistic legal attacks against the EFF that are a complete waste of time of the judiciary and are nothing but an elaborate fundraising for racist right-wingers,” the party said.

It said the AfriForum is trying to frustrate the ongoing appeal case, noting that it will challenge the application.

“AfriForum’s actions are an attempt to frustrate the expected outcome of the ‘kill the boer’ appeal,” said the EFF.

“They have resorted to attacking a female judge to further their narrow agenda, which cannot tolerate land justice and the progressiveness championed by the EFF.

“We will oppose this application and continue to fight against right-wing, imperialist elements that oppose our agenda for social justice and equality.”


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