African Crisis, April 13, 2011
To be a farmer more dangerous than to be a police officer
The Equality Court in Johannesburg this afternoon learned it now is more dangerous to be a farmer in South Africa than being a member of the police.
This appears from the evidence of Prof. Christiaan Bezuidenhout, criminologist and expert on the influence of music on young people. Prof. Bezuidenhout was the first witness called by TAU SA in the case against Julius Malema and the ANC on the hate speech issue.
Prof. Bezuidenhout testified that farm murders actually should be a special category of crime. Murders committed on farms in South Africa is 700 times higher than the average in the rest of the world. “It’s now more dangerous to be a farmer than to be a policeman,” said prof Bezuidenhout..
In 99% of the cases where a murder takes place on a farm production stops, and every farm murder cost the state R2 million. The risk to be killed on a farm is about 30 times higher than in any other part of the community. The attacks are furthermore extremely violent.
Referring to the song “Shoot the farmers”, Prof. Bezuidenhout testified that he regards it as an inflammatory song. Young people look up to Julius Malema as a role model, and therefore it affects young people’s perceptions and he makes an impression on them.
Especially in violent communities people can easily be encouraged by such inflammatory music. In such communities role models play a bigger role. Songs that condone violence or scold people or groups as dogs can influence the youth so that they do not believe it is wrong even if they are not immediately turned to violence. Prof. Bezuidenhout said it is difficult to change the meaning of a song once it has been used in a certain context over a period of time. This is also applicable to the Malema song. This song is also not in line with reconciliation.
Prof. Bezuidenhout suggest that “the song should be placed somewhere in a museum where people can look or listen to it but it certainly does not belong in the public domain.”