South Africa silences Shoot the Boer

South Africa’s ruling African
National Congress (ANC) has told its members to refrain from singing the
anti-apartheid struggle song “Shoot the Boer”.

It comes amid rising racial
tensions following the weekend murder of white supremacist leader Eugene
Terreblanche.

His supporters have blamed ANC
youth leader Julius Malema for inflaming the situation by singing the song.

The ANC’s Gwede Mantashe said the
death had no political motive but the song had contributed to racial
polarisation.

Boer is an Afrikaans word for
farmer, which has become a derogatory term for all white people.

“The restraint will remove
excuses… to whip up racial hatred,” said Mr Mantashe, the ANC’s secretary-general.

Black and white South Africans
scuffled outside court when two farm workers were charged with Terreblanche’s
murder on his farm last Saturday.

Mr Mantashe said the ANC had not
banned the song, which the party has said is part of the country’s history and
the fight against white minority rule.

But the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in
Johannesburg says asking ANC supporters not to sing it is the closest thing to
it.

Controversial ANC Youth League
leader, Mr Malema, has insisted on exercising what he says is his right to sing
“Shoot the Boer” at rallies.

Opposition politicians have
complained that the song incites racial hatred and have gone to court to try to
get Mr Malema to stop singing it.

Police have said two farm workers
admitted beating Terreblanche to death in a dispute over unpaid wages.

Terreblanche, 69, was fiercely
opposed to the end of apartheid in South Africa, which led to the ANC winning
the country’s first democratic elections in 1994 and Nelson Mandela becoming
the country’s first black president.

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