Hate speach trial

C Youth League president Julius Malema said
on Tuesday it was not him on trial for hate
speech , but the " revolution ".
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African National Congress ( ANC ) Youth League
president Julius Malema (C ) gestures outside a
Johannesburg court , after appearing for a hate
speech trial April 12 , 2011 . Malema is charged
for singing ANC ‘s struggle song "Kill the boer , Kill
the farmer" . Afriforum , a white minority group ,
is claiming that the song is polarizing and
dividing South Africa along racial lines and
contributes to the continuing killing of white
farmers by mainly black assailants .
Photograph by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
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South Africans must defend struggle songs :
"It is not me who is on trial . The revolution is on
trial ," Malema said through a megaphone to
hundreds of supporters pressed against the
locked gates of the High Court in Johannesburg .
Speaking from the safety of the court steps and
surrounded by bodyguards with assault rifles , he
said: "They have the method we used to defeat
them, and again we will defeat them ."
His comment was preceded by the large group
singing the song "awudubhule ibhunu " , which
translates as " shoot the boer " .
Civil rights group Afriforum is contesting the
singing of the lyrics , in an Equality Court case
where they hope the words will be declared
hate speech .
Malema has refused to apologise or withdraw
the comments , despite a meeting with
Afriforum. Its deputy president Ernst Roets spent
Tuesday explaining to the court that they believe
the lyrics cause hostility in South Africa .
Malema said he would continue to defend its
history and legacy .
ANC Women’s League veteran and MP Winnie
Madikizela Mandela said Malema was correct.
"It isn ‘t Julius who is on trial , as he says. It is the
ANC which is on trial ," she said outside the
She thanked the supporters for coming. Their
bodyguards then pushed an opening through
the crowd which mobbed their vehicles. Police
and the bodyguards shoved photographers and
the public away amid chants of " Juju Juju" ,
Malema ‘s nickname . With bodyguards standing
on the running boards , the cars inched through
the crowd on Pritchard Street as people with
cellphones waved them over everyone’s heads
to try and snap a picture .
Music expert Anne – Marie Gray earlier testified
that according to her research , the earliest
struggle songs sounded like Christian hymns and
were sung by a group called Ohlange , organised
by John Dube for the SA Native National
Congress between 1912 to 1915 .
They got permission to travel as a choir and used
the songs to inform people of issues they had
with land laws . White authorities were oblivious
to their meaning , and so permission was
granted for the tours .
They felt they weren ‘t achieving much with the
songs , so Ruben Koleza introduced a genre
called " iragtime " based on the songs of slave
minstrels. In the 1950 s , still frustrated with little
progress , they adopted the more militant call –
and- repeat style of isiZulu songs . Anyone ‘ s
names or any words could be used in this style.
"Some of them are supposed to be militant, but
they are beautiful songs ," she said.
Gray said after 1980 the toyi- toyi and chanting
became more prevalent and she found evidence
it scared white people . Words like Senzeni na
(what have we done) were extracted from older
songs and used in isolation "with pride " and to
remind people of the original song .
She said such styles and toyi- toyis could be seen
at weddings , and some white people would run
away .
"To most white people the chant and the toyi-
toyi is quite frightening . .. That is where
discourse is important . "
Earlier Roets was asked if he thought dialogue
would resolve the problem, but he said it had
already not worked . His underlying concern was
the murders of farmers – – a literal meaning of
boer .
Gray ‘s testimony continues on Wednesday.

[date:] 2011-04-12

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