Judge: Translation of dubula ibhunu upsetting
Johannesburg - The translation of the song lyrics "dubula ibhunu" as "shoot the boer" was what was upsetting people, Judge Collin Lamont said during closing arguments in the hate speech case against ANCYL president Julius Malema on Thursday.
The judge said however, that this did not mean that the audience to which Malema was singing the song translated the words in the same way.
"It is common cause that [shoot the boer] could be the translation, but we can't say it is the proper translation," Lamont said in the South Gauteng High Court, sitting as the Equality Court.
"The context of the song is destroy the regime [apartheid]."
He said words sung in a particular language might have a meaning to one audience and that a translation could have a meaning to a different audience.
Lamont was speaking during closing arguments by AfriForum and Tau-SA.
AfriForum's lawyer Martin Brassey said the ANC had failed to establish that the song sung during the struggle years against apartheid was not considered inflammatory.
Tau-SA's lawyer Roelof du Plessis agreed.
He said the ANC should have held a formal media conference when the translation of the song lyrics was first published explaining what it meant and why it was being sung.
Last month the words "dubhula ibhunu" and their symbolic, literal and historic meaning were scrutinised by witnesses from farmers' organisation Tau-SA and civil rights group AfriForum. The latter brought the case against Malema and the ANC.
The ANC has defended Malema's singing of the lyrics four times in South Africa and once in Zimbabwe last year.