Lubabalo Ngcukana, Daily Dispatch (East London, South Africa), April 5, 2010
African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema remained defiant yesterday over his singing of the controversial “kill the boer” song.
Malema was in Mthatha for a meeting of the league’s OR Tambo regional congress at the Civic Centre Hall, and almost immediately launched into singing the song, just hours before a Pretoria High Court ordered he may not sing it.
The firebrand young leader dedicated much of his speech to defending the singing of the song.
“There are many songs in the ANC which when we sing speak about amabhunu, (the boers) even if you burn this one, they will sing another one tomorrow, and the role of the court would be reduced to burning songs instead of concentrating on serious criminal issues in South Africa,” Malema said.
He vowed to continue singing the song as it formed part of the heritage of the ANC’s struggle, and was a way of paying tribute to those who contributed to the struggle and died.
In Pretoria, Sapa reported that AfriForum and the Transvaal Agricultural Union obtained an order in the Palace of Justice to stop Malema from singing the song.
The court granted the order prohibiting Malema from singing dubula ibhunu” (shoot the boer).
“The first respondent is also barred from uttering any song of a similar nature which incites violence,” Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann said while giving judgment.
The order would be effective until the first day the matter is heard in the Equality Court, where it has been referred by Bertelsmann.
He said the court was aware that Malema, the ANC and its youth wing were not given ample time to respond, and emphasised this was a provisional finding.
He said democracy was still fragile and that those that participated in politics must consider that some things said could offend other groups.
Malema, through his advocate Vas Soni, said he believed there was nothing wrong with singing the song, and if he stopped, it would be an admission of guilt.
Yesterday, Malema also came out all guns blazing against his deputy Andile Lungisa, who has been tipped to contest the presidency of the league.
In an exclusive interview with the Saturday Dispatch last week Lungisa confirmed he would challenge Malema for party leader if nominated.
Malema implied that Lungisa was using the National Youth Development Agency (Nyda) to lure votes from youth league leaders in the Eastern Cape by promising agency positions.
“We have formed what we call the Nyda and we have learnt with shock that the agency is paraded here in the Eastern Cape, and everybody is told here if you push a particular line you are guaranteed a chairmanship of the agency,” Malema said.
The Eastern Cape-born Lungisa is currently the national chairperson of the Nyda.
Malema said the agency was never established for individuals to go around “selling patronage” and claimed that many in the Eastern Cape were being promised provincial chairpersonship of the agency leading up to the league’s regional congresses.
This, he said, was done to “buy votes” by some people ahead of the league’s national congress next year.
“If you go around telling people that you are a powerful man, not to us, we are not scared of you–we can finish you like a fly–then you are done and nothing in politics,” he said.
Referring to a report in the Mail & Guardian newspaper that Cosatu leader Zwelinzima Vavi’s wife was benefiting from contracts with the union federation, Malema turned his attention to the union leader.
“If there is corruption in the ANC or the SACP there must be lifestyle audits. Even in Cosatu there must be lifestyle audits,” he said.
“How did your wife get this? You must explain,” he said.
“We are very shocked about what appeared today in the Mail & Guardian, where it is alleged that a wife of a leader of a union got a tender to service the union . . . journalists have caught them on camera, they have exposed them, the anti-corruption unionists.”
It was then the turn of the mayor of Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, William Ngozi, to receive Malema’s ire.
The municipality has been embroiled in political infighting and not a single council meeting has sat this year.
Malema asked why, “when a mayor is running a mob, a political illiterate marching with an army battalion terrorising our people” should the ANC be held to ransom.