Monday, March 15, 2010

Malema's "Kill the Boer" Is Racist Incitement

Last week and Tuesday Julius Malema, the African National Congress Youth (ANCYL) leader, sang "kill the boer" (the Afrikaner farmer) at a birthday celebration held for him at the University of Johannesburg.

Malema was wearing a bright yellow tee-shirt with the face of Nelson Mandela emblazoned on the front.

I had two immediate reactions as I watched Malema's interaction with the supportive crowd on television.

First, I thought how pathetic it was for a once proud and disciplined movement like the ANC to be represented by the likes of Malema.

His now infamous habit of playing to the crowd is as vacuous as it is dangerous.

More importantly though, I was appalled to hear him sing a song from the anti-apartheid era that contained the line "kill the boer" and to do so in 2010.

His actions amounted to nothing less than inciting racist hatred.

The ANC, true to latest form, disagrees.

ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, has essentially defended Malema for singing a song that is considered part of their liberation history.

Mantashe said in part:
"Those songs are part of our history and we're not going to be forced to erase that history."
What utter crap! Mantashe and Malema are both being disingenuous.

The South African Human Rights Commission, a constitutionally commissioned body, ruled in 2003 that the slogan "kill the farmer, kill the boer" amounted to hate speech.

HRC commissioner, Professor Karthy Govender, said in part:
"The slogan 'kill the farmer, kill the boer' as chanted at an ANC youth rally in Kimberly and at (Peter) Mokaba's funeral is hate speech as defined in Section 16 (2) (c) of the Constitution."
Govender added that though South Africa was a democracy that supported free speech it was important to note that free speech does not include the right to advocate "hatred" or "harm" against a "group of people".

If the ANC was paying careful attention to the above ruling in 2003 then it would recognize why this most recent incident is also a case of advocating racist hatred.

There simply is no constitutional protection for voicing racist hatred against white farmers, Afrikaners in general, or any other group for that matter.


Image Credit

UPDATE: Just as I was about to publish this post News24 reported that "the Equality Court on Monday found ANC Youth League president Julius Malema guilty of hate speech and harassment."

The ruling out of the Equality Court stems from a charge laid by the Sonke Gender Justice Network after Malema said that the woman who alleged President Zuma raped her enjoyed the encounter.

The Equality Court says Malema must make an 'unconditional public apology within two weeks and pay R50 000 to an organization for abused women within a month'.

I can't wait to hear how the ANC rationalizes this ruling.

Malema will probably add the Equality Court to his list - which includes the South African Revenue Service (SARS) - of racist post-apartheid institutions that is out to get him.


Cartmanslover said...

Last night I went to bed with the mother of all headaches. Malema had been imposed on me the whole day and I was just feeling much like the embittered and disillusioned youth of hellholes such as the Niger Delta and Horn of Africa. These youths have turned to so- called "terrorist" acts in order to have their voices heard and grievances taken seriously.

I won' t go out and start bombing state property, I still have no idea what I' m supposed to do to get a point across. That point being that South Africa is avalanching into the kind of oblivion typical of its fellow African states. This is what happens when discourses concerning a nation- state's politics and economics are monopolised by intellectually impotent men.

You mention the "supportive crowd" that cheered Malema on as he barked his crude comments about female leaders, namely Zille and DeLille, and bellowed out that illegal war-anthem. I' m glad you did that because that is what media and concerned citizens keep missing. The masses Malema, Mantashe, Zuma and the entire mobb that is called the ANC and ANCYL appeal to. These people have no idea of the amount of damage they have caused and are yet to cause to the country by blindly supporting this kind of shallow political "practice".

I heard the women screech the loudest at Malema' s drivel. Drivel that they are unaware is indirectly aimed at them! They are women too. They don' t understand that the kind of manipulation Malema is using to ensure that he keeps them on the "outskirts" of political debate and action. I would think that demonising powerful or at the very least "visible and definately vocal" female political figures does massive damage on a subconcious level to the aspirations of the women of the ANC Youth League...that is if they have any aspirations at all. The subtext of Malema’s misogynistic rants is simply this:"Try to involve yourself in OUR politics and WE, THE SUPRIOR SEX, will crush you." And these young women quite comfortably and quite unconsciously accepted the only position that Malema designated to them- the sidelines.

It is this kind of marginalisation that makes me embittered. The fact that the power is in the hands of the majority- which in South Africa is the least educated- formally and otherwise. And the reasonable and sensible minority suffer because of this.

I thought about one of the strategies that were used by the ANC to dethrone Mbeki and catapult Zuma into presidency- it of course had to appeal to the masses. This was the demonisation of formal education and intellectual approaches to debates and problem- solving. One could hear Mantashe, Malema and even a PHD graduate, Nzimande abhor education...especially the kind obtained from the University of Sussex. I remember Malema vomiting:"We don' t want sophistication, Masters degrees in Economics are not going to put bread on tables, we want bread on tables!"

Really? It isn't? Then what will? The expensive bottles of whisky they gorge down over their illegal tender deal discussions? NONSENSE!

There is no denying that lack of education has been the downfall of many- a- man and way too many- a- woman.

I’m just hoping and praying that Malema’ s lack of education will be his downfall too, before it becomes ours.


Ridwan said...

Yo, I have said it before (elsewhere) and will say it here ... Cartmanslover you need to write more!

Excellent analysis and a needed one too.

The intersection of women and their subjugated roles in patriarchal centered post-struggle motions is so lost in what we call debates here in Mzansi.

You are absolutely right about the relegation of women to cheer leading roles.

Where are the female voices in Malema's ANCYL?

Why were they so quiet when Malema made those sexist remarks about Delille, in particular?

I expect their silence or absence tells us more about the place of women in the ANCYL.

It also tells us about the level of engagement between ideas of gender equality and the more present tender-crony politics that defines so much of the ANC now.

Your voice adds complexity to my post and I thank you.

Please keep writing and pushing the boundaries.

Peace and struggle,