Die Stem sung at music festival in Europe

2019-03-20 11:54

The old South African anthem has been sung in Europe.

IOL reported that apartheid-era anthem Die Stem was sung at the 82nd Flemish National Zangfeest (singing festival) in the Antwerp Lotto Arena in the Flemish region of Belgium.

Lobby group AfriForum shared the video on its official Twitter page.

The post earned 498 likes and 189 retweets by Wednesday morning.

In its post, AfriForum said Die Stem was performed in remembrance of farmers who were killed.

Several users commended the performance of the apartheid anthem.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it has joined an application to have the apartheid-era South African flag declared hate speech.

"The Nelson Mandela Foundation is bringing an application for the display of the old flag outside specific circumstances - to declare that as hate speech. And we have joined that application," SAHRC commissioner André Gaum told News24 on Wednesday.

However, given that Die Stem forms part of the current national anthem, no decision has been made regarding its performance.

Die Stem yet," Gaum said.

The World News reported that politicians at the event were mainly from right-wing Flemish nationalist groups.

IOL reported that the anthem has been performed at the event since 1939.

'Symbols of discrimination'

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in the National Assembly last year that reconciliation can't be achieved until the barriers that still divide citizens are torn down.

"They exist in the minds of people who think that it is acceptable to sing Die Stem and display the old South African flag. These are not symbols of Afrikaner identity; they are symbols of discrimination, oppression and misery. These barriers exist in the minds of those who would deny that apartheid was a crime against humanity," he said.

READ: Die Stem and old flag are not symbols of Afrikaner identity; they are symbols of discrimination - Ramaphosa

Former News24 columnist Max du Preez last year called for Die Stem to be removed from the national anthem.

"There is nothing wrong with the actual words or melody of Die Stem. But no adult South African can have any doubt that is a symbol closely associated with the apartheid era. Whether you like to hear it or not, Die Stem and the orange, white and blue flag were the prime symbols of Afrikaner nationalism that dominated our society between 1948 and 1994," he argued.

READ: Maimane 'should help drop Die Stem from the anthem'

Meanwhile, the full national anthem was sung at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem last year during a one of two New York memorial services for Winifred Madikizela-Mandela, City Press reported.

READ: The surreal moment when a Harlem choir sings Die Stem for Winnie

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Read more on:    afriforum  |  sahrc  |  apartheid

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