The ANC Youth League intends going all out to keep liberation songs alive, its president Julius Malema signalled on Wednesday.
He said the league would challenge a court ruling that banned the singing of “shoot the boer”, and would seek Parliament’s help to protect such anti-apartheid songs.
“He (the judge) has gone beyond his mandate and we think we need to challenge that ruling,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.
“We are also going to Parliament to demand a legislation that will protect this song.”
Judge Colin Lamont in the High Court in Johannesburg ruled on Monday that the song constituted hate speech.
This followed a civil complaint to the court by minority rights group AfriForum.
Malema said Lamont had been “generous” and had given AfriForum more than it had asked for with an outright interdict.
Lamont had focused too much on minority rights, and had given too much weight to genocide fears.
“Our struggle was never about white genocide,” said Malema.
Malema said this case, the five-year partially suspended drunk driving sentence for former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride and the R750,000 fine for rugby player Bees Le Roux for killing a metro policeman, was proof the judiciary was not transformed and that it was biased in favour of whites.
McBride a black South African had crashed his own car without hurting anyone, but he was given a five-year sentence with two suspended.
But Le Roux a white South African, “… a murderer, who killed a person in uniform, is given a fine”, said Malema.
The court did not care what the majority thought and did not consult anybody.
“The judge alone takes the decision to ban the people’s song. It’s an unfair practice which we must not just accept. We must fight it.”
Malema said if there was a move to change a street name, “we do it in a democratic process”.
Malema objected to Lamont’s use of the concept of ubuntu in his judgment, saying it had been turned “against us” and scoffed at his call on people for renewed morals.
“Morals of who? Who is going to teach us morals? He is going to teach us morals… ” said Malema.
The Equality Act, in terms of which the hate speech complaint was made, had been used to divide people, he continued.
The song was a resistance song, not a love song, but the message was never about genocide.
Although he had been held responsible for singing it at least five times in public, it was not his song.
“Even if I wanted, I would not have the capacity (to compose). I have got limitations. I sing badly, I have got no copyright (on it).”
He rounded off by saying the league was considering keeping the media out of its events because it assumed it had a mandate from the public and distorted messages.