“Kill the Boer” is once again in the spotlight as several parties are trying to appeal the Equality Court’s ruling that the EFF singing of the Struggle song was not hate speech.
Civil rights organisation AfriForum challenged the Equality Court’s outcome after it lost its court bid. In addition to that, the DA intends to lay charges against EFF leader Julius Malema with the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as Parliament’s ethics committee.
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald opened a case against Malema with the police and laid a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.
This comes after that despite last year, the Equality Court, sitting at the High Court in Johannesburg, ruled that “Kill the Boer” song does not constitute hate speech after the matter was brought before the court by AfriForum.
In giving the judgment, Judge Edwin Molahlehi ruled that the singing of Dubul’ iBhunu - “Kill the Boer - Kill the Farmer” - was not hate speech.
“It does not constitute hate speech and deserves to be protected under the rubric of freedom of speech - it articulates the failure of the current government to address issues of economic empowerment and land division,” he said.
Molahlehi said "the broad principle of freedom of expression is tolerance of different views”, adding that society has a duty to allow as well as be tolerant of both popular and unpopular views.
African literature scholar Professor Elizabeth Gunner who was also brought in as an independent expert in the civil case said that “Kill the Boer” has a place in political democracy and stressed during the case that it is not an injunction to kill.
She said the word 'dubula' - which means to shoot - could be used to convey different messages other than a literal meaning.
"If you think of 'Sizoba dubula dubula, dubula, dubula nge mbayimbayi' and if you take that, it doesn't mean you are going to go out and shoot everybody. It's a song saying we want freedom. So to answer your question, songs have a much wider import, which I think in order to understand songs correctly needs to be taken into account."