The words “dubula ibhunu” (shoot the boer) were declared incitement to murder, in a high court judgment on Monday unrelated to the hate speech case by AfriForum brought against ANC Youth League President Julius Malema in the Equality Court.
But the case has nevertheless been considered a secondary battleground by both AfriForum and the ANC, which had appealed to the court for permission to be heard on the matter, and AfriForum has hailed Judge Leon Halgryn’s ruling, saying that his judgment effectively renders the singing of the struggle lyrics illegal.
This case concerns two members of the Society for the Protection of Your Constitution, one of whom, Mahomed Vawda planned to sing it at an anti-crime march in Mpumalanga last year. Another member, Willem Harmse, opposed this.
The matter progressed to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, where the two eventually reached an agreement and without much press fanfare secured a settlement order by the judge prohibiting the singing of the words.
The ANC then applied for leave to appeal and to intervene, leading to Monday’s judgment.
In his order, Halgryn said “The publication and chanting of the words dubula ibhunu, prima facie satisfies the crime of incitement to murder”.
In Halgryn’s judgment on Monday, he turned down the ANC’s application for leave to appeal against his settlement order of March 26 last year, amending the order adding the words “to commit murder” after his original finding that it was incitement.
Willie Spies, a lawyer for Afriforum who had also applied to intervene in the appeal application, said this effectively prohibited the singing of these lyrics by anybody and made it a crime.
The Equality Court case against Malema continues at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. — Sapa