Thursday, April 8, 2010
Hate Speech (Song) Controversy in South Africa
A song of struggle against Apartheid or a song inciting racial violence? That's the question being debated in the courts and in the press of South Africa. In late March, the South Gauteng High Court reportedly ruled
that the famous "kill the boer" or "shoot the boer" is now illegal. The song that many believe lead to the murders of farmers in recent weeks as Julius Malema incited hatred against white people and "Boers" is now officially illegal and seen as hate speech. This comes after Willem Harmse, a Delmas businessman got a interdict against Mahomed Vawda from singing the "kill the boer" song.
[The opinion is not yet available in printed form]. Then there was a reported inderdict regarding Malema (portrayed in the video below) also banning his singing of the song. [The opinion is not yet available in printed form.] According to BBC reports, the African National Congress, ANC, first disapproved the determination regarding the song, but has since called for a cessation of singing the song given acts of violence.
The matter could be headed for South Africa's Constitutional Court. South African ConLawProf Pierre deVos has a trenchant analysis of the constitutional arguments here and here.