EFF president Julius Malema. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The EFF is calling for the removal of Die Stem from the national anthem following the Equality Court judgment declaring the gratuitous display of the old apartheid flag as hate speech.

The party welcomed the court ruling handed down on Wednesday by Judge Phineas Mojapelo.
 
Mojapelo said the display of the apartheid flag does harm and should be considered hate speech, unfair discrimination and harassment. 
 
The application was brought by the Nelson Mandela Foundation which asked the court to declare the display of this flag as illegal and impose sanctions on those who display it freely in public.
 
The EFF said the ruling was a milestone and victory and that the apartheid flag and the Die Stem were part of the same symbol of white supremacy and as such, the anthem should be changed to exclude Die Stem.
 
“It must be a common cause that the apartheid national anthem must follow after its flag. The apartheid flag and its anthem belong to the same species. They are the two sides of one coin. When white supremacists display the flag, they salute it by singing Die Stem because they belong in the same anti-black racism performance acts,” said the party in a statement.  

“In light of this ruling, we call on [President Cyril] Ramaphosa to remove Die Stem from our national anthem. Forcing black people to sing Die Stem is like asking them each day to salute the apartheid flag.”
 
The old South African flag has often been seen as a symbol of hate and bloodshed and its display has often provoked strong opinions from the public. 
 
Mojapelo said no good could come from gratuitously displaying the old flag and those who do so and not display the new democratic flag, choose oppression over liberating symbols. 

He said those who display also aim to insult and express feelings of white supremacy.

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