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South Africa: Julius Malema's Reverse Racism

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, Politics

While the antics of President Zuma have always generated intense and lively debate in the South African blogosphere, this time it is the controversial politician and the president of the African National Congress Youth League, Julius Malema [1], who's making headlines. Recently, Malema led students in singing an old Anti-Apartheid struggle song called Kill the Boer. He is facing criminal charges [2]for the song.

Let's see reactions from South African bloggers.

Blogoff!!! writes a post entitled “Shoot the Boers, they are rapists!!!!” [3]:

Julius Malema

He is such an imbecile, and they think that this little Pedi will become our next president. I am so immigrating to another country if he becomes our commander in chief. People think that Zuma makes us look like monkeys; well Julius will do way worse than the honourable JZ. . .in his sleep!!!

He sang an old struggle song “Shoot the Boers, they are rapists”! Wha! I love the fact that he believes in Democracy, but spreads hate speech!

Mr. Jackson Mthembu, spokesperson of the ANC, is actually defending him, saying it is not his fault and that he was quoted, or whatever, out of context. Well I think Julius is stupid and ignorant and a racist, but please do not quote me out of context! That is so not what I mean, hello!!

Rea from “My Life and World” discusses Malema's outburst in a post entitled, very aptly I might add, “Put down that scissors Malema, before someone gives you a damn hiding!!!!!” [4]:

We all know what happens when you run with scissors right? Well that is exactly what Malema is doing right now, running around like a spiteful child who doesn’t want to listen to his mother. The moment when he falls down and stick himself in the eye all his little friends are going to abandon him and run away leaving him bleeding like a stuck pig. He won’t listen to anyone telling him what he should do.

You won’t believe that we are hosting the Fifa World Cup Soccer, the way he is acting. If he thinks any overseas visitors will come here to pump this country full of money when it seems as if unrest is at the order of the day here, he is in stall for a very rude awakening.

But coming off from Malema's rant, the ANC and the South African President [5]were quick to defend one of their executive leaders.

Common Dialogue writes [6], “The ANC will talk to Malema about his racial utterances? That would be a first!”:

The ANC says it will “engage” Youth League president Julius Malema on his recent racial outburst at a student rally. Fat chance!
The party’s spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said:”We are always in contact with the youth league, we will continue talking to them… even in this instance we would engage with them,” he said.
Malema, according to media reports, led students at the University of Johannesburg in a song saying: “Shoot the boere [farmers], they are rapists.”
Now, we all know that Malema has been insulting people including senior members of the ANC and its alliance partners at will. Nothing has happened to him.

A few old-school white South African's have joined the fray in the blogosphere pointing out the hypocrisy. Wessel's Place [7] puts up his frustrations on his blog:

While Julius Malema was singing “Shoot the Boers” at an ANC Youth league rally, farmers were being killed in the Limpopo province.

And no black political leader said anything.

I find this sad. I find a great inconsistency in our country. If any white person uttered the words “Shoot the Zulu's” or “Shoot the Xhosa's”, they would have reason to fear for their lives. In fact, when someone dared finger the presidential convoy, this person was arrested and humiliated by the authorities.

I want to believe in this country. I want to believe in its potential. I want to believe that my children can grow up here without having to apologize for being white.

Blogging at My Digital Life [8], The Source puts up a fairly long rant entitled “Kill the Kafir song?” [9]

So the ANC is defending Julius Malema for singing a song containing the lyrics, “Shoot the boere, they are rapists”.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu told Sapa by phone on Thursday morning that he will defend Malema and that the song should be seen in context (Read full article).

He continues to say:

“The issue is, indeed, some people might be correct that there might be songs we should not sing. Let them put them on the agenda and convince the ANC that we should not sing those songs and tell us why.

“But then they should also look at songs that were sung by the forces of oppression.”

Let’s look at this statement

Forces of oppression would most probably refer to the white government in the apartheid era and thereby extend to all whites I suppose.

Now I was in an Afrikaans school and I was also in the Voortrekkers. For those who don’t know, the Voortrekkers is like the boy scouts, but it celebrates the heritage of the Afrikaner nation who moved from the coastal regions inland toward what is now known as the Freestate, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

Alex Matthews at Thought Leader asks, “If killing the boers is OK, how about blacks, women and gays?” [10]:

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu has defended Julius Malema’s lusty renditions of the infamous “kill the boers, they are rapists” song, arguing (according to this Sapa article) that the “the lyrics of the song had been quoted out of context”.

“This song was sung for many years even before Malema was born. Julius doesn’t even know who’s the writer of the song. He got it from us [the ANC]. You must blame the ANC, don’t blame Julius. But when you blame the ANC, then contextualise it,” Sapa quotes Mthembu as saying.

By Mthembu’s logic, it is completely acceptable inciting people to kill others, provided there is “context”. What does that mean? Well, so as long as “kill the blacks” was an old apartheid song, embittered racists can chant it from the rooftops. So long as “kill the women” was some sort of misogynist anthem, chauvinists can do the Macarena to it in male-only clubs. So long as “kill the gays” was a major hit for bigots as they set lesbians alight, they can scream it as they throw the gays off bridges and into manholes.

Consequently, Malema has apologised, which ClassicMalema.co.za covers in “Malema Says Sorry” [11]:

A very rare moment for this moron to apologise for his statements. I think the ANC came down on his ass big time. Is the road coming to an end for Ju Ju?

Azad Essa at Thought Leader posts up a brilliant satirical piece covering the dodgy contracts Julius Malema has amassed in his very well-endowed position in government,“Two kilo's of tenderised Malema, please!” [12]:

With the country in a tizz after sizzling reactions to severe price hikes as “tenderised Malema” hit the newsstands, fictitious members of the ANC top-brass met at an emergency meeting on Monday to resolve the latest crisis in the party.

As news of government tenders enhancing the meagre salaries of government officials, their families, and their families’ families, appeared to have boosted newspaper record sales over the weekend, ANC leadership came to a set of binding resolutions in a bid to root out corruption in government.

In a dramatic shift the ANC released a statement early this morning saying that it is within the right of a senior cadre not to partake in government deals.

And what does Google think of Julius Malema? [13]:

So heres the deal. Open www.Google.com and type in “Julius Malema is” – wait a second or two to see the suggestions that Google will recommend.


Definitetly, Zuma and Malema will remain a hot topic in the South African blogosphere for a long time.