Union applies to intervene in hate-speech case

2011-02-23 10:39

The “shoot the boer” song has a direct bearing on farm violence, the Transvaal Agricultural Union of SA (TAU SA) said after it applied to intervene in a hate speech case against Julius Malema.

“This song has a direct bearing on violent crimes on farms,” the CEO of TAU SA, Chris Van Zyl, said today.

“We have applied to intervene in the case in support of Afriforum.”

The case, brought by Afriforum against ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, relates to Malema’s use of the term “shoot the boer” in lyrics sung publicly last year.

President of TAU SA, Ben Marais, said the union submitted their application before the South Gauteng High court on Tuesday based on the fact that the ANC had applied to intervene in the case.

“We are worried, this is wrong... that the ANC is supporting Malema. The ANC must stop Malema. Us farmers must stand up against this.”

He went on to say that there is “definitely a link between farm murders and this song”.

Yesterday, Sapa incorrectly quoted Afriforum’s lawyer, Willie Spies, as saying TAU SA applied to intervene in the case because it wanted the opportunity to “defend their farmers in the Transvaal”.

“I do not speak on behalf of TAU SA. We are not supportive of a whole range of parties joining the case,” he said.

Deputy president of TAU SA, Louis Meintjes, said both the union and the ANC’s applications would be heard tomorrow by judge Colin Lamont.

“We have a direct interest in this case because these are our farmers that are affected. We want to do our own cross-examinations and questioning,” he said.

A phrase similar to “shoot the boer” was popularised by former ANCYL president Peter Mokaba at a memorial rally for slain anti-apartheid activist and SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani in Cape Town in 1993, months before South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994.

In a separate case, Malema was found guilty of hate speech and harassment by the Equality Court in March last year over comments he made about a woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape.

Zuma was subsequently found not guilty.

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