ANC 'disregarding' the courts
Cape Town - The ANC is showing a "dangerous disregard" for the courts in criticising a South Gauteng High Court ruling on the "shoot the boer" song, the Independent Democrats said on Wednesday.
ID secretary general Haniff Hoosen said he deeply regretted the ANC's decision to continue with its appeal against the ruling on Friday last week that the ANC song "Ayesaba Amagwala" (the cowards are scared) was "unlawful and unconstitutional".
The ANC's decision came two days after Hoosen wrote an open letter to his ANC counterpart Gwede Mantashe, imploring him "to rise above the current tit-for-tat racial squabbles in our country, which are achieving nothing more than taking our country backwards".
"Calling the court ruling 'incompetent' and 'unimplementable' shows a dangerous disregard for the courts," Hoosen said.
By failing to use this opportunity to show mature leadership and levelheadedness, the ANC had missed the point completely.
"Even if the ANC's legal interpretation is correct and they pursue their appeal and win, our nation will still be the biggest loser.
"Our nation does not need leaders that get involved in these petty squabbles; it needs leaders that rise above them and reach out to all sectors of our society.
"It was a vain hope on my part that Mantashe would honour the role played by Nelson Mandela in bringing about unity and reconciliation for our nation," Hoosen said.
Mantashe's belief that the PAC youth wing's comments about the ANC Youth League were not just hate speech, but also a "public declaration of the intention to kill", showed "the ANC either suffers from organisational amnesia, or does not have the very basic ability to join the dots".
"We cannot ignore the irony of a party such as the ANC not seeing the 'Kill for Zuma' comments by some in its leadership a little more than a year ago as a 'public declaration of the intention to kill', and then reacting very differently now.
"This is what happens when leaders practice double standards - eventually it becomes impossible for them to see right and from wrong," Hoosen said.
On Tuesday, the ANC said the High Court judgment banning the use of the words "shoot the boer" was "incompetent" and "unimplementable".
"There is no correlation between the singing of the song and any attacks on farmers... no one has in fact produced such correlation including in that South Gauteng High Court.
"That's why our view is that, that judgment is incompetent, that's why the appeal," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told media following a meeting of party officials on Monday.
Mantashe described the ruling as "unimplementable" - and added that the arguments in the case were "very superficial".
The parties to the court bid "decided to collude to abuse our system of criminal justice".
The ANC will appeal the judgment to get a more correct constitutional interpretation of the struggle songs it deems form a big part of the country's history.
The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday ruled that the use of the words "Dubula ibhunu" in the song "Ayesaba Amagwala" was unconstitutional and unlawful.