The African National Congress’s support for its youth league president Julius Malema’s hate speech has led to a deep sense of distrust for the ruling party in the Afrikaans community, the general secretary of the Solidarity trade union Flip Buys said on Wednesday.
Buys said in a speech at the union’s national congress outside Johannesburg that Afrikaners could not talk to “people” who had outlawed them as a cultural group.
Supporters from as far as Limpopo picketed outside the South Gauteng High Court in support of Julius Malema during his battle with Afriforum for the right to sing the struggle song Dubul’ibhunu, translated as “Shoot the Boer”. A confident Malema riled up his supporters after his third day in court, chanting the controversial lyrics.
“The ANC’s support for Malema’s hate speech has led to a deep sense of distrust being experienced within the Afrikaans community,” Buys said.
“I want to make it very clear that we will go out of our way to rebuild confidence, but we are not prepared to crawl on our knees.
“We cannot talk to people who have outlawed us as a cultural group as if there is nothing wrong with it.”
AfriForum and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (Tau-SA) have taken Malema to the Equality Court to interdict him from singing from the song Ayesaba Amagwala, translated as “The cowards are scared”, containing the lyrics “Dubul’ ibhunu“, or “Kill the boer”.
ANC leaders, including secretary general Gwede Mantashe and National Executive Committee (NEC) member Derek Hanekom, have testified for Malema in the case, which is being heard in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting as the Equality Court.
Buys said the union was tired of talking about problems such as unfair affirmative action, violent crime, Afrikaans schools and universities, the “criminalisation” of the Afrikaner history.
“It would see as if there is a total inability within the ANC to look beyond its own narrow ideological and racial boundaries to consider the interests of all in the country.”
Buys said the union wanted to extend a “hand of friendship” to President Jacob Zuma and the ANC and its alliance partners.
“It is an open hand, not a clenched fist, but it is definitely not a pleading and begging hand either. We have respect for authority, but we also have our self-respect.
“We realise the minorities must fight for that which majorities take for granted.” — Sapa