South Africa

HATE SPEECH CASE

Mwah! Julius Malema demonstrates to court what ‘kiss the boer’ means

EFF president Julius Malema at the Johannesburg High Court on 16 February 2022. AfriForum brought a civil case against EFF leaders Malema and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi for singing at various times the anti-apartheid song ’Dubul’ibhunu’, which translates to ’shoot the boer’. (Photo: Gallo Images / Fani Mahuntsi)

EFF leader Julius Malema has told the high court — during a ‘hate speech’ civil case — why the words of a Struggle song were changed from ‘kill the boer’ to ‘kiss the boer’.

‘Any one who sings it will be well justified to sing it. It’s a Struggle song — and our struggle was not hate. It was a struggle for freedom,” said the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, during the ongoing “hate speech” case at the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday. 

Malema took the witness stand in the civil case brought about by AfriForum, relating to the singing of the Struggle song Shoot the Boer/Dubul’ibhunu. 

AfriForum lodged a complaint in terms of the Equality Act, but has asked the court that the civil case also be referred for criminal prosecution. 

malema shoot the boer high court
EFF leader Julius Malema addresses supporters outside the Johannesburg High Court on 16 February 2022. Malema appeared in the hate speech case brought by Afriforum. (Photo: Julia Evans)

AfriForum first lodged a complaint against Malema, EFF member Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the EFF party in October 2020 after supporters of the EFF sang the Dubul’ibhunu song outside the Magistrates’ Court in Senekal during the bail hearing of those accused of murdering Free State farm manager Brendin Horner. 

AfriForum alleged that statements Ndlozi made incited arson and that the song was hate speech toward white farmers. 

According to Ernst Roets, head of policy and action at AfriForum, AfriForum asks for, “an order that Malema, Ndlozi and the EFF have committed hate speech, that they must apologise publicly and that they must pay a fine to an organisation that strives to combat hate speech”. 

Breaking down the language 

Once Malema took the stand as a witness, Malema’s advocate Mfesane Ka-Siboto asked him what the word “boer” means in the song. 

Malema answered: “A boer will mean a farmer, to us. Because farmers are the face of land dispossession. It’s the struggle for land. It’ll always be used inter-exchangeable [sic]. 

“It has always been the case. To show that the concept ‘boer’, or white, or umlungu does not refer necessarily to a particular race,” said Malema, explaining that the language cannot always be translated in literal terms. 

Mark Oppenheimer, the advocate for AfriForum, confirmed with Malema that the lyrics of the chant are, “shoot to kill, shoot the farmer, kiss the boer”. 

As the song used to say “kill the boer”, Oppenheimer asked what the difference between these two versions is.

Malema testified that it is not a song, but a chant and chants change from time to time. 

According to AfriForum, Malema was found guilty of hate speech in 2011 for singing the chanting song Dubul’ibhunu (Shoot the Boer). 

After being probed by Oppenheimer, Malema explained that “shoot to kill” means “shoot to kill the enemy forces who are standing in between us and our freedom”. 

And “kiss the boer” means to kiss a farmer. 

It means ‘mwah’

Oppenheimer played a video clip of Malema chanting to a crowd of EFF supporters, “kiss the boer”, and asked Malema to interpret the words. 

“It means kiss,” said Malema, seemingly exasperated. 

“Kiss how?” probed Oppenheimer during the cross-examination. 

“Mwah,” said Malema, puckering his lips, which was met with laughter in the courtroom. 

Oppenheimer said it was coded language, that “kiss” really meant “kill”, and it was used to incite violence against white farmers. 

Malema elaborated that the word “kiss” was used to provoke white supremacists who would hate to see a black person kiss a white person. 

“Because I know when I say that, you’re going to take offence… because you don’t want a black person kissing a white person,” said Malema. “It is an immoral act, according to the Immorality Act during apartheid.” 

An ‘opportunity’ for Malema to teach his ideology

During the cross-examination, in which Malema took the stand as a witness for more than five hours, the leader of the EFF arranged his answers to emphasise the values and ideologies of his party and give a “lesson” to everyone watching at home. 

Oppenheimer read the findings of the South African Human Rights Commission Appeal Tribunal, which found the language the EFF used was hate speech. 

Oppenheimer asked for Malema’s response to this. 

“It’s incorrect, because — I’ve explained to you — we’re not targeting any individuals. Ours is a struggle against a system of oppression that has robbed us of our land and our economy. And that’s what we’re engaged in,” said Malema, elaborating that the farmers were beneficiaries of this system. 

When asked if the farmers should be held accountable, Malema responded, “When the system collapses, they will all appreciate that we’re all equal, and therefore there is no one who’s superior to the other. And that’s how they will take accountability.” 

“Are they equal now?” asked Oppenheimer. 

“They are not. They’ve got more. And we have less,” said Malema.

‘No farm murders, just murders’ in SA 

malema shoot the boer high court
The EFF and Julius Malema’s defence team pictured with Malema during a tea break at the Johannesburg High Court during a hate speech case brought by AfriForum on Wednesday, 16 February 2022. From left: Julius Malema, Ian Levitt, Angelike Charalambous and advocate Mfesane Ka-Siboto. (Photo: Julia Evans)

Farm murders are a central point of this civil case, as AfriForum lodged a complaint after the EFF demonstrated outside a bail hearing of those accused of murdering a farm manager.

However, Malema made it clear that he believes that farmers or white people are not targeted, but that South Africa faces a security issue and thus has a general problem of murder, and to distinguish between types of murders is wrong. 

“There are no white people who are being murdered, there are no farmers who are being murdered,” said Malema. “There is murder going on in this country because we are occupying a crime scene. South Africa has become a crime scene.” 

This was because “the security of this country has collapsed”.  

“There are no white people being murdered in South Africa, there is a crisis of murder in South Africa. And this thing of elevating the killing of white people, as if it’s more important than other people who have been killed in the township, it’s wrong.”

The hearing continues. DM

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  • He’s right. There isn’t some sinister plot to kill white farmers. Murder happens in this country – farmers, white and black, are easy targets. Many more black people are killed by criminal and lawless elements than white farmers.

    • ….and you think those red beret followers, mostly in their twenties, understand a word. They were not part of the so-called struggle. Neither was Malema. To them it simply means “Kill Whites! Its OK to kill them!” Never look at actual numbers. Look at the percentages. How the hell is it possible to say: “Black Lives Matter!” and then the very next day: “Kill the Whites!”

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