Song doesn't intimidate - Malema lawyer
Johannesburg - Claims the song "dubula ibhunu" (shoot the boer) intimidates people are not borne out by logic or evidence, Julius Malema's lawyer said during closing arguments in the hate speech case against the ANC Youth League leader on Friday.
"When does the intimidation start?" Vincent Maleka asked the South Gauteng High Court, sitting as the Equality Court.
"When the song was sung during the struggle no one had a problem with it."
He said Malema had explained to students at the University of Johannesburg, when he sang it for the first time last year, that it was sung to remember those "comrades" who had died in the struggle.
"Boer" was a reference to apartheid, Maleka argued.
Civil rights group AfriForum and farmer's organisation Tau SA wanted the judge to re-define the word, Maleka said. He suggested a farmer should have sat in the witness box and explained to the court how the song made him feel.
Judge Collin Lamont said farmers were too nervous to come to court.
Maleka said he understood there were "sensitivities" on both sides. However singing "dubula ibhunu" did not demonstrate a clear intention to be hurtful, incite violence, or propagate hatred.
He said AfriForum's case was founded on a misconception caused by the translation of the song, which was an "otherwise harmless art form".
"Since this has started there has been no act of violence or attempt of violence [against farmers]."
If an order was handed down that stopped Malema from singing the song it would not stop others from singing it, he said.