Cosatu defies song ban

2011-09-19 00:00

DESPITE last Monday’s Equality Court ruling that the song Dubula iBhunu (Shoot the Boer) constitutes hate speech and there is no justifiable reason for the continued singing of the song, it was defiantly sung during a Cosatu provincial shop stewards’ council meeting held at Durban’s Playhouse yesterday.

The meeting was attended by KZN Premier and Sdumo Dlamini, the president of the labour federation.

The singing of the song was prompted by Dlamini, who said Cosatu will continue to sing all struggle songs including Dubula iBhunu “because they are part of our history”.

Mkhize, eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo and other Cosatu leaders danced along as the audience sang the song.

Judge Colin Lamont ruled against Julius Malema, declaring the song hate speech after AfriForum had brought a case against the ANC Youth League president at the Gauteng Equality Court.

ANCYL, supported by the ANC, has vowed to appeal the decision because it believes the song is part of history of the struggle.

As the audience burst into singing Dubula iBhunu, Dlamini declared, “As Cosatu we are angry because we have noticed that somewhere there is a cabal of some constitutional experts who study and plot in corners and launch their attacks against the ANC …

“We will not fold our hands when people want to steal what we fought for. We will continue to sing our song. I am surprised that up to now this song has not been sung.”

Dlamini described the banning of the song as reversal of history and said Cosatu supports the ANC’s intention to appeal the ruling.

“The struggle songs are our history, which we have to retain. Banning the song is not sustainable and people will continue to sing it.”

Turning to other issues, Dlamini said that despite Cosatu’s opposition to Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s appointment as chief justice, the federation is now prepared and ready to work with him.

“Cosatu had a view and now that the state president has made the appointment, we are prepared to work with him, despite the previous views we had about him. We are, however, not apologetic about the view that we had about him.”

Dlamini said of the national stayaway called by Cosatu for October 5 that it is a declaration of war by the trade union federation against labour brokers.

“The battle lines have been drawn and our enemy is poverty, unemployment and inequality. We want to ensure that labour brokers are done away with in South Africa.”

Dlamini denied reports that Cosatu is divided across factions within the ANC and said the national executive committee of the ANC will continue to support the ANC leadership elected at the Polokwane conference until Cosatu’s congress next year adopts a position for next year’s ANC Mangaung conference.

Other issues the shop stewards’ council discussed were the political situation nationally and provincially; threats of political violence and instability in KZN; campaigning against corruption; defending unity; and preparing for a concert in solidarity with famine-ravaged Somalia.

Mkhize and Nxumalo addressed the council on behalf of the ANC and the SA Communist Party respectively.

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