Shoot the boer: litigation should be the last resort – Mantashe

2012-10-31 12:33

The ANC, AfriForum and Tau-SA will ask the Supreme Court of Appeals to make their settlement on the Dubul’ ibhunu song an order of court.

This will effectively do away with last year’s Equality Court ruling which declared the song hate speech, and banned the ANC and its followers from singing the struggle song.

The three parties avoided a court showdown over the controversial struggle song Dubul’ ibhunu by striking an agreement on Tuesday night, almost two days before the Supreme Court of Appeals was due to hear the case.

AfriForum and Tau-SA took the matter to the Equality Court two years ago after then ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema sang the song, Ayesab’ amagwala which contains the lyrics Dubul’ ibhunu (Literally, Shoot the Boer/White Man).

The ANC challenged the constitutionality of the order, which it said was too broad, at the Constitutional Court.

However, the Constitutional Court referred the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeals, where it was due to be heard tomorrow.

Lesley Mkhabela, the lawyer representing the ANC and Malema, said the terms of the agreement included recognition that all communities were entitled to celebrate their cultural heritage and freedom, and that “certain words are often inspired by circumstances of a particular period of struggle” and a commitment by Malema and the ANC to restrain their followers to avoid hurting those who are offended by the song.

He said the parties had also agreed to settle their own legal costs.

ANC general-secretary Gwede Mantashe said the importance of the agreement was that it educated society that litigation should be the last resort, and that it “removed the impact of actually banning the song”.

He said his party’s leadership would educate its membership “that this phase of struggle warrants different words”.

Solidarity’s Flip Buys said he hoped the agreement would lay the ground for dialogue on broader issues such as “unfair legislation”, the denigration of Afrikaans culture and the targeting of Afrikaans schools.

Malema, who has since been expelled from the ANC, did not attend the announcement of the settlement as he was sitting his university exams.

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