Struggle song dissected

2011-04-12 13:19

As the meaning of the song Shoot the Boer was being picked apart in the Equality Court in Joburg today, about 200 people stood outside singing it.

AfriForum Youth leader Ernst Roets and ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s lawyer spent the morning dissecting the literal and contextual meaning of the lyric and the word “boer”.

Roets contended that it made him as part of the Afrikaner minority feel threatened. He wanted the song to be heard only in museums and plays and to appear in history books.

He conceded to Maleka’s intense questioning that Malema did not literally have blood on his hands but said the song had made AfriForum supporters fearful and angry.

They also wanted to know if they could now lawfully use threatening or offensive words.

The court heard from Maleka that the word “boer” originated from the Dutch for farmer.

Roets explained that to him it also means Afrikaner or white person depending on the context.

Maleka added that it also meant police or army during apartheid.

Roets, who is 25, and Maleka sparred verbally for four hours with more expected after the lunch break.

Both were addressing the court in their second language.

At one point the court was told that the first translation Roets obtained translated the lyric into “kill the boer” not “shoot the boer”.

Meanwhile, outside the court, the group, many wearing t-shirts with an image of Malema’s face, kept up their singing and harmonising.

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