The judge in the hate speech case against African National Congress (ANC) Youth League president Julius Malema will ignore an order given on Monday that the lyrics “dubul’ ibhunu “, or “shoot the boer”, were an incitement to murder.
“There was no evidence in the case apart from the agreement by the two parties,” Judge Collin Lamont said in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting as the Equality Court, on Thursday.
“I think I should ignore it.”
Lawyer for civil rights group AfriForum Martin Brassey opposed Lamont’s decision, saying it “can’t be discounted”.
On Monday, Judge Leon Halgryn said in the South Gauteng High Court “… the publication and chanting of the words ‘dubula ibhunu’ prima facie satisfies the crime of incitement to murder”.
That case related to two members of the Society for the Protection of Your Constitution. One of them, Mahomed Vawda, planned to sing it at an anti-crime march in Mpumalanga last year. His colleague, Willem Harmse, opposed this. Eventually the two reached an agreement and without much press fanfare secured a settlement order prohibiting the singing of the words.
Brassey was going through AfriForum’s heads of arguments in court on Thursday morning during closing arguments in the hate speech trial. Malema was not in court.
AfriForum took Malema to court, contending that his singing of a struggle song containing the lyrics “dubul’ ibhunu”, or “shoot the boer”, constitutes hate speech.
Last month the words “dubul’ ibhunu ” and their symbolic, literal and historic meaning were scrutinised by witnesses from farmers’ organisation TAU-SA and AfriForum..
The ANC defended Malema’s singing of the lyrics — four times in South Africa and once in Zimbabwe last year — with witnesses such as Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and poet and cultural expert Mongane Wally Serote explaining that they formed part of the repertoire of songs used to galvanise people during the struggle against apartheid. — Sapa