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AfriForum planning to approach ConCourt after SCA dismisses its appeal in Malema’s ‘Kill the Boer’ case

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EFF leader Julius Malema explained that when he leads ‘kill the Boer’ song, he is not calling for farmers, or whites of Afrikaner descent to be shot, but the song is directed at the system of apartheid and anything that represents it.

EFF leader Julius Malema at the Equality Court in Johannesburg testifying in AfriForum’s application over the controversial ‘Kill the Boer’ song. File Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha / Independent Newspapers

AfriForum said it will be discussing the possibility of approaching the Constitutional Court, following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) where it dismissed its appeal against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) regarding the singing of “Kill the Boer”.

The SCA ruled that the song was not hate speech.

The literal English translation of the song is “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer”.

Justice Halima Saldulker dismissed the appeal application after AfriForum’s complaint was first dismissed in the Equality Court in August 2022.

In a statement, AfriForum chief executive Kallie Kriel said the ruling puts both farmers and Afrikaners in danger.

“Farmers and Afrikaners deserve the same protections against hate speech as any other profession or cultural group. If the courts are not going to protect these groups from hate speech, they will have to take their safety into their own hands.

“AfriForum has already established more than 172 neighbourhood and farm watches nationwide. In light of this judgment, AfriForum will intensify its focus on investing a large and growing amount of its resources and time into improving and expanding our community safety networks through means such as training and equipment.

“AfriForum will convene with its legal team to discuss the possibility of a Constitutional Court challenge,” Kriel added.

During the hearing, Malema testified on his own behalf and on behalf of the EFF in which he said he had been taught “Dubula ibhunu” as a young activist during apartheid.

“He was taught that Struggle songs like this one should not be understood literally. Instead they were directed at the system of oppression and anything that represented it at the time. He emphasised that the EFF is committed to overcoming economic apartheid represented by what he referred to as ‘white monopoly capital’,” the judgment read.

“Malema explained that when he leads the singing of ‘Dubula ibhunu’, it is directed at this system of economic and land apartheid. Similarly, the shooting gesture sometimes accompanying the chant signifies shooting at the system. Under cross-examination, Mr Malema confirmed his view that white farmers were part of and had benefited from the prevailing system of inequality in respect of land and the economy. He said that in the song the ‘Dubula ibhunu’, the ibhunu, or farmer, is symbolic of the system against which the EFF campaigns.”

The SCA held that a reasonably well-informed person would appreciate that when Malema sang ‘Dubula ibhunu’, he was “not actually calling for farmers, or white South Africans of Afrikaans descent to be shot … nor was he romanticising the violence exacted against them in farm attacks, as contended by AfriForum”.

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