Johannesburg - DA leader John Steenhuisen has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to condemn the EFF’s leader Julius Malema’s continuous singing of the “Kill the Boer” song, calling it divisive and racial.
Steenhuisen penned his call in a letter written to Ramaphosa on Wednesday, asking him to take action against Malema.
In his letter, written after the EFF celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday, last week, Steenhuisen said the singing of the song showed that South Africa was faced with a threat.
Steenhuisen wrote: “South Africa now faces a new threat, one which risks destroying the very fabric of our nation and our society altogether. One which you, to date, have yet to address, is your responsibility as South Africa’s head of state.
“At the weekend, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) celebrated its 10th Anniversary celebrations. It was here that Julius Malema, once again, chanted the song ‘Kill the Boer’, going so far as to say, and I quote: ‘shoot to kill’.
“He then mimicked the sound of machine gun fire to members of his political cult, who answered with thunderous approval. For millions of South Africans, this was a spine-chilling reminder of the horrors of our violent and divisive past. It struck fear into the heart of our nation.
“Mr President, this is not the first time that Julius Malema has incited total anarchy and citizen-on-citizen violence. It is not the first time that he has called for a civil war and wanton bloodshed for political gain, and it will certainly not be the last. But given the tightrope that South Africa now walks, between a nation in pursuit of peace and unity and a people divided by hatred and intolerance, this must be the last time that you remain silent on Julius Malema and his vitriolic and fascist hatred for his fellow citizens.
“As the world watches Julius Malema unstitch the very fabric of South African society, and undo the South African dream with absolute impunity, South Africans now cower away from each other, fearful of their fellow man. All because you refuse to call out and condemn those who dare to spit in the face of Nelson Mandela and the sacrifices he and many others made for South Africa we all so desperately want to call our own,” he said.
Steenhuisen did not suggest any action for Ramaphosa to take but emphasised to him that, as the Head of State, he needed to act quickly.
At the end of his letter, Steenhuisen said: “I urge you to be as courageous as those who came before you, to speak out against the very same injustice and racial division which scars our country’s broken past.
“For if you are the first citizen of the nation, then you must set an example against hateful prejudice and violence, especially when used as a dangerous political tool in our free and fair democracy. If there is one thing we have learned from history, it is that we must always stand up to bullies.
“When we embolden those who hate and divide with impunity, we risk destroying our society altogether. I do not have to quote the many examples throughout history which have proven this to be frighteningly true.
“South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Mr President. It is time that you, as President of the Republic, start to remind all South Africans of this truth. History will judge us all, but on this matter, it will judge you harshly on your paralysis and inaction. Speak out against Julius Malema and his hatred, or risk sacrificing the project of a free, fair, and prosperous South Africa forever,” he said.