Hate Speech?

Presently, in April 2011, Julius Malema, leader of the ANC Youth League, is standing trial in the Johannesburg High Court for singing the song “Kill the Boer, kill the Farmer” which he likes to chant at his political rallies. The action was brought against him by AfriForum, a civil rights organisation, and by the Transvaal Agricultural Union. 1) Malema claims that the offensive words are not hate speech, though previous court rulings did outlaw them as such.

When one watches the TV news, a surreal picture presents itself. Julius Malema arriving at court, flanked by five body guards heavily armed with machine guns and accompanied by the ANC icons Winnie Mandela and Gwede Mantashe. A crowd of admirers gathered around the court is following the trial inside on a giant TV screen mounted on a truck outside.

“An Action against the Revolution”

Twenty-nine year old Malema claims that the words “Kill the Boer, kill the Farmer. Shoot the Boers, they are rapists, they are cowards,” are harmless struggle lyrics, and Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC, supports him in this. The press quotes Mantashe as saying, that whoever seeks to prevent the singing of this ‘strugglesong’ is “tampering with the history of the country and the liberation movement.” - The court case, he claims, is not about Julius Malema, but about “protecting the history and heritage of the ANC.” 2) Malema agrees. The court action, he says, is not so much an action against him as “an action against the ANC and against the revolution.” 3)

The Killing of Farmers

The fact, however, is that the killing of farmers has reached crisis proportions. When Eugene Terre’Blanche (69), the leader of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, was murdered last Easter (3.4.2010) on his farm in Ventersdorp, he was the 3368 th victim of this scourge since the African National Congress (ANC) came to power in 1994. In the year since his death a further 51 Farmers have been murdered in 77 farm attacks, an average of more than 4 per month. Farmers are a highly endangered group, for the incidence of farm murders is 10 times higher than murders among other groups of South Africans and 700 times higher than killings elsewhere in the world. 4)

A Charge of Genocide is laid before the World Court

Earlier in April a member of the Verkennersbeweging van Suid-Afrika flew to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Holland, charging the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Government with Genocide, submitting documentation about the killing of farmers and demanding that the ANC be held responsible.

AfriForum, too, has sought international help. It took the present dispute with Julius Malema to the United Nations. 5) - Even the international organisation Genocide Watch has acknowledged that the killing of farmers in South Africa is in fact genocide. It has graded these murders at level 5 of a scale of 8 levels, and classifies them as being perpetrated by “black racists,” against whom farmers have little protection since the abolition of the Commandos. 6)

Civilised Standards

Apart from Communist regimes, most governments seek for peace and harmony among their subjects. Especially in the West, one of the fundamental principles of Christian civilisation has been the Great Commandment of Christ: “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31) This commandment, if observed, guarantees respect for “human dignity.” - If this principle is reversed, the peace of a nation is jeopardized. - Julius Malema demands the right to sing: ”Kill the Boer!” But what if we all demanded such a “right?” What, if the Muslims would sing: “Kill the Christians,” or the Whites would sing: “Kill Malema. Kill the ANC youth league. They are rapists and cowards!” Would not those who presently demand indemnity for such things, be the first ones to condemn this as “hate speech?” And would not the judiciary of the whole world support them?

When is hate speech not hate speech?

Why, indeed, do we have a law against hate speech? Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:21-22)

When does hate speech not promote hate actions? “The tongue is a fire,” says James, “setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell…” (James 3:6) The sad spectacle of prominent ANC leaders (and some White experts) declaring in court that a call to murder is not, or may not be, a call to murder is amazing. Julius Malema is supported by two of the ANC’s most prominent office bearers. There is Winnie Mandela whose tongue, in the 1980s, fanned the fires of cruel necklacings. “With our tyres and our matches we shall liberate this country,” she had exclaimed. And then there is ANC Secretary Gwede Mantashe, who is also the Chairman of the South African Communist Party. Malema’s murderous words, he says, are not hate speech. They should be allowed, in order to “protect the history and heritage of the ANC.”

The Freedom Charter

Malema is known to wholeheartedly endorse the ANC Freedom Charter, which states that “the Land shall be shared among those who work it!” This principle is the basis of Land Reform. It probably also motivates violent actions against farmers in order to drive them off their land. But land reform has not been all that successful. By the Government’s own admission 90% of the farms given to land claimants are now derelict. Though in our churches we pray: “Give us this day our daily bread,” many people do not seem to worry about who provides this bread and how. According to an opinion poll only 66% of South African Blacks regard Malema’s words as hate speech against food producers. What about the rest? Do they ever wonder where the food for over 50 Million South Africans comes from, or even what our neighbouring countries live on?


The Freedom Charter represents old style Communism. Many people regard Communism as a mere matter of politics. But Communism is a humanistic religion, a religion of hate and envy. Its philosophy has destroyed the peace and prosperity of many nations, and its policies have brought great countries to ruin. Its founder, Karl Marx, was a satanist. He said: “I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above.” His disciple, Vladimir Lenin, was an atheist. He said: “We must hate. Hatred is the basis of Communism.” His instruments, the Soviets, declared: “Let us drive out the Capitalists from earth, and God from Heaven.” The first to be driven out were the farmers in Russia and the Ukraine, with the result that millions of people starved to death. Who knows, perhaps it all started with a song: “Kill the Kulak, kill the Farmer.”

Let us not follow the same suicidal route. Let us guard against a continuous revolution. “Nation building” is greater and nobler than actions of envy and hate. Covetousness has caused more racism in South Africa today than ever existed in Apartheid times. We need to appreciate one another, encourage one another, and get back to Christ’s command: “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:32) Instead of singing “Kill the Boer,” let us sing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” and thank Him for His rich providence.

May God bless you richly,

D. Scarborough.

Footnotes :

  1. The High Court is sitting as an Equality Court and acting n terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.
  2. Times Live, 19.4.2011, Malamaphobia rules.
  3. Die Afrikaner 15-21 April, 2011, Editorial, Die Freedom Charter kom in fokus.
  4. Ibid., Boer het gevaarliker werk as polisieman.
  5. Die Afrikaner, 8-14 April 2011, Volksmoord klagte teen regering en ANC in Den Haag gelê.
  6. Ibid.
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