AfriForum will take part this week in the thirteenth United Nations Forum on Minority Issues session. The 2020 session’s theme was “Hate Speech, Social Media and Minorities”, therefore AfriForum’s Head of Policy and Action, Ernst Roets, will do a presentation via video feed about hate speech against minorities in South Africa. AfriForum intends to highlight incidents of hate speech such as that of Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the third largest political party in South-Africa, during which he sang songs like “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer” on numerous occasions. This type of rhetoric puts the lives of minorities in danger.
This type of rhetoric has been mirrored in the ANC as well, for instance when former president Jacob Zuma sang the “Shoot the Boer” song at the ANC’s 100-year centenary. Studies conducted by AfriForum found that it is common that murder and violence against minority farmers increases in the months following these incidents of hate speech, especially if the events received media coverage. There was an increase in farm murders in the month following the former president’s singing of “Shoot the Boer” – 16 farm attacks occurred in which six people were murdered. After analysing five incidents of high-profile hate speech directed at white farmers, AfriForum found an average increase in farm murders of 74,8% in the months following these incidents.
In 2016, Julius Malema told his supporters “We are not calling for the slaughtering of white people, at least for now.” In the month following Malema’s speech in Newcastle about white people and Afrikaners, 12 farm murders were committed as opposed to the monthly average of 6,25 for that year.
In 2020 two massive gatherings opposing farm murders were held in the town of Senekal after a 21-year-old farm manager was brutally murdered and hanged on a pole. The EFF descended on the town during the second gathering as the suspects appeared in court. While the family of the murder victim sat in court, and the community gathered to show support and protest farm murders, the EFF sang “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer” outside. The song “Burn the farmer” also bellowed through the streets.
Hate speech against minorities in South Africa is not being taken seriously , and perpetrators often get away with it without repercussions. Hate speech against minorities is still not condemned by the president or high-profile politicians whenever it takes place. In 2018, president Cyril Ramaphosa even denied the murder of farmers in South-Africa on an international platform. The ANC has also failed to acknowledge the correlation between hate speech directed at farmers and the persistent scourge of farm murders in the country.
Therefore organisations like AfriForum have stepped up to take up the fight against hate speech against minorities. AfriForum is combatting hate speech against minorities in South Africa through various interventions, including research, dialogue, and court battles. Our campaign is also pursued on the international stage through our The World Must Know campaign – in which awareness is raised about the crisis, and international role-players are lobbied to take a public stand on these issues. Support our cause, become a friend of AfriForum today.
Are you tired of hate speech and double standards against the Afrikaner? Help AfriForum in their fight against the big culprit, the EFF, and others who fuel hatred. They have to be held accountable and recognise that their utterances have consequences.