posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 03:21 AM
This post might not be off great interest to the Americans and Europeans on here, but to us South Africans, this is an important matter. I felt like
sharing it, just so you might get a perspective on an issue we currently have in SA.
We have a political figure, called Julius Malema, leader of the Anc Youth league, wich is part of the ruling Anc party in SA. This guy has been very
controversial in his reign as leader of the youth league. In the last week he has been taken to court for violating some free speech principals and
possible human rights.
He has been singing this song, claiming it is a song from the "struggle", back in the Apartheid days. Nothing wrong with that, the problem is the
words in the song. Things like "kill the boer", "kill the farmer" or "one bullet one boer". In this context Boer reffers to the white minority
in Sa. Clearly this song is used to instigate people against whites.
Malema however claims he is doing nothing wrong, since it is a "struggle" song, a song the freedom fighters use to sing. However is it really?
Lets have a look.
Is the controversial song urging the killing of “Boers” truly part of the ANC’s liberation struggle heritage, or are such claims simply an
ingenuous, or perhaps sinister, attempt by the ANC leadership to defend its Youth League leader Julius Malema by distorting the historical truth? Or
is the ANC itself trying to rewrite history after it accused the courts of doing so when two successive court rulings found the song to incite racial
hatred – findings in line with one already made by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) as long ago as 2003?
These are questions that come to the fore from an investigation into the origins of the controversial song, "Dubula iBhunu".
The truth seems to be that words to the same effect first were chanted in Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) circles in the early 1990s along with their
infamous slogan of “one settler, one bullet”. Shortly thereafter, the late ANC youth leader Peter Mokaba borrowed the slogan and began chanting
his “kill the Boer, kill the farmer” version in 1993 after the murder of ANC and Communist Party leader, Chris Hani.
In none of the sources on the origins of the song which could be identified, could any indication be found that the song has ever been part of the ANC
repertoire of songs during the struggle days.
Although the controversial song sung by Malema is claimed now to be a historical liberation struggle song, it was not included in a 2-CD history and
recording of 25 freedom songs released in 2002. Senior ANC and former Umkhonto we Sizwe leaders, including Ronnie Kasrils, Baleka Mbete and Pallo
Jordan among others, had collaborated in the production of the collection.
At the time of its release, the CD set was described as a collection of field recordings of songs and chants used in the liberation struggle,
complemented by a radio documentary providing an overview of the songs, their history and context in the struggle. These songs were sung in ANC camps,
at meetings, mass rallies, demonstrations and other gatherings.
The set, it was said, was designed as an archival and historical document. Nowhere did it mention “kill the Boer, kill the farmer” or “shoot the
All indications are that the slogan or chant and the song, or even songs that developed from it, originated with the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).
In August 1999, Thomas Ramaila told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he had been a PAC operative and had been influenced by what he called
a PAC slogan, namely “kill the farmer, kill the Boer” to kill a farmer, Neville Rudman. Most of Ramaila’s testimony and his amnesty application
were rejected, but his reference to the slogan was not.
The slogan/song in any version was used first in circles associated with the PAC in the early 1990s, although the PAC never officially took ownership
of it and, after the first democratic elections of 1994, distanced itself from it. At almost the same time, the ANC’s Mokaba began using the slogan
in 1993 when the armed struggle for all intents and purposes was a thing of the past.
In that same year, a large crowd of PAC supporters marched through Cape Town’s Kenilworth and Claremont suburbs, demanding the release of PAC
members who had been arrested in connection with the massacre of 11 churchgoers at the St. James Church and chanted “kill the Boer, kill the
farmer”, “one settler, one bullet” and “one church, one bomb”.
Also in 1993, at a rally in Tembisa near Johannesburg, both Mokaba and a PAC representative used these or similar words in speeches to the large
crowd. Mokaba reportedly also urged the crowd to direct their “bullets” at then president FW de Klerk, declaring that he hated De Klerk. To which
the PAC representative added, “war against the enemy... kill them”.
In March this year, a former participant in an August 1993 march (called “Operation Barcelona”) against increased exam fees in Cape Town, wrote in
a comment to an article on the Internet, that he was among PASO (PAC student wing) students in the march who chanted “kill the Boer, kill the
farmer” immediately before American student Amy Biehl was killed by members of that mob.
In 2002, then president Thabo Mbeki, as president of the ANC, and in 2003 then ANC secretary-general Kgalema Motlanthe - who is now ANC deputy
president - firmly and unambiguously distanced the ANC from any such song or slogan, saying it had never been, and would never be, a part of the ANC.
No claim was made then that it – in any form - ever had been an ANC liberation struggle song.
That is until now, when, in March this year, Malema began singing a generic version of Mokaba’s chant. Suddenly senior ANC leaders, among them
secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, are claiming this to be an old ANC liberation struggle song that apparently never was sung to incite violence
against white farmers or whites in general, but was aimed against the apartheid regime.
Mcebisi Ndletyana, senior researcher at the Human Science Research Council - in another defence of the song and attack on the judges who ruled against
its use in an article in "The Sunday Independent" - claims the song embodies black hatred of “whiteness”, but not of people of European
descent... with a very wooly explaination of what the difference is intended to be.
No documentary or other evidence could be found that the chant or related songs were indeed ANC liberation songs before 1993, when the liberation
struggle was practically over and constitutional negotiations in full swing.
The Mokaba chant of “kill the farmer, kill the Boer” was next heard in June 2002 at an ANC Youth League meeting in Kimberley, and at Mokaba’s
funeral in Limpopo. The funeral was attended by prominent ANC leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Mbeki, and the chanting was stopped
The Freedom Front lodged a complaint of hate speech with the HRC, which subsequently rejected it. However Mbeki, as president of the ANC and the
country at the time, on 19 June of that year told Parliament: “Nobody in our country has a right to call for the killing of any South African,
whatever the colour, race, ethnic origin, gender or health condition of the intended victim. Those farmers and boers are as much South African and
African as I am...”
In June 2003, the HRC, chaired by Professor Karthy Govender, assisted by Professor Henk Botha and Mr Khashane Manamela, heard an appeal by the Freedom
Front against the earlier HRC ruling. In their decision, delivered on 15 July, they overturned the earlier HRC ruling and found that the slogan "Kill
the farmer, kill the boer" as chanted at the ANC youth rally in Kimberley and at the funeral of Mokaba constituted hate speech as defined in section
16(2)(c) of the Constitution.
What is even more interesting is that part of the record of submissions made to the HRC at the time contains a letter from Motlanthe, then ANC
secretary-general, stating that the ‘’utterance has never been, cannot and will never be a slogan of the ANC, not used by the ANC at all.’’
The logical assumption then is that, according to Motlanthe, it was not part of the ANC’s liberation struggle heritage.
Sorry for the huge post, just wanted to bring this to your attention,.