Cape Town - “Farmer Abrahams had many farms, and many farms had farmer Abrahams, I work one of them and so would you, So let’s go burn them down.”
Cape Town-based rap group Dookoom released their latest song Larney Jou P**s on Sunday, unleashing controversy in the media.
Civil rights group AfriForum has lodged an official complaint against them.
AfriForum submitted a complaint against the group to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), asking for the song and its music video to be declared hate speech.
AfriForum’s deputy chief executive, Ernst Roets, said the “vulgar” song compelled them to write a letter to Dookoom on Sunday requesting they withdraw the song and video, which shows farmworkers setting fire to a farm.
“The song contains extremely racist and degrading remarks against white people in general.
“We received various complaints from people who feel tremendously offended by this song,” Roets said in a statement.
“The second verse claims that Jan van Riebeeck arrived in South Africa with a group of criminals, that his descendants are scum and that white people are villains and criminals because it is in their bloodline.”
Lead singer and writer of the controversial lyrics Isaac Mutant said: “everybody is entitled to their opinion”, about the song.
“We’re trying to create a dialogue,” Mutant said, adding that everyone is equal and the song is about that equality.
“We love white people. We’re not inciting violence, we just want dialogue.”
He said his lyrics, inspired by unhappy farmworkers, were about expressing anger at a situation, but if people want to believe they’re inciting violence then “that’s their opinion”.
Director of the controversial video Dane Dodds, 19, said he was given a few tracks to choose from and chose Larney Jou P**s because it made him feel “the most uncomfortable”.
“As the son of a farmer, I know those feelings are there, so I just wanted to make people talk about them, because they’re often swept under the carpet,” he said.
Roets said he took issue with the “most insulting words in the Afrikaans language” being used to describe white people in the song and said while “artistic freedom and freedom of speech should be protected”, the hate speech in it violated the Equality Act.
SAHRC communications co-ordinator Isaac Mangena confirmed that the commission had received the complaint on Tuesday.
He said the SAHRC was “assessing it with the view of investigating it”.
“However as the commission we have not heard the song or viewed the video, this will all form part of the investigation,” Mangena added.
The video for Larney Jou P**s was released online this week for the song which “tells the story of a farm uprising in the Western Cape, an area where tensions have flared regularly between farmers and workers”.
It is the first track release for the group’s new album A Gangster Called Big Times, also released this week.