In the video shared on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Marxist-Leninist party's Malema, dressed in his trademark red beret, spoke in front of 90,000 supporters who were all dressed in the party's red color. The remarks were made as South African parties position themselves for national elections in 2024. (Related: Thousands of black South Africans chanted "Kill the whites! Kill the white farmer!" at massive event while making MACHINE GUN noises.)
Can you imagine a rally of right-wing whites chanting that you have to "kill the black farmer"?
— Alberto Caliu?? (@AlbertoCaliu) July 31, 2023
The said chant that seemed to be a "battle cry" reignited debate about a controversial decades-old song that dates back to the struggle against apartheid. The song which is also known as "Dubula iBhunu," was popularized in the early 1990s by Peter Mokaba, a leader of the African National Congress (ANC) ahead of the end of South Africa’s racist apartheid system of racial segregation.
In 2012, however, the ANC, which was also previously led by Nelson Mandela, vowed to no longer sing the song, following controversy stemming from claims the song was related to a series of violent attacks on white farmers. The party also expelled Malema that same year in an effort to ease racial tensions in the country. The EFF leader had previously said he was prepared to kill for former South African President Jacob Zuma, though their relationship soured after Zuma was sanctioned by the ANC. In 2013, he founded the EFF, which is now the third-largest party in the country’s parliament, behind the ANC and Democratic Alliance (DA).
Meanwhile, Mpumalanga farmer Theo Bekker, 79, was brutally murdered in a farm attack a day after the EFF rally. The four people, who were arrested for the killing of Bekker and the attempted murder of his wife, were expected to appear in the Balfour Magistrate's Court on Aug. 7. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said 18-year-old Siyanda Gift Ziqubu, and 18-year-old Kgahliso Motoung appeared in court on Thursday alongside two juveniles, who cannot be named. The matter was postponed to Monday. All the accused are facing charges including murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, pointing of a firearm, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.
South African farmer Theo Bekker (79) was brutally murdered by 4 thugs yesterday
The attackers beat him with an iron bar, slit his throat, and then beat his wife Marlinda
This came 24 hours after EFF leader Julius Malema told a crowd of 90k people to “kill the Boer (Whites),… pic.twitter.com/mbz0V20yVS
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) July 31, 2023
"It is alleged that on July 30, the accused acted for a common purpose and went to the victims’ place in Grootvlei, in Balfour. On their arrival, they attacked the deceased and demanded money and a firearm from him," according to NPA Mpumalanga regional spokesperson Monica Nyuswa. "It is further alleged that they suffocated the deceased’s wife with a plastic bag and assaulted her several times. They then robbed the victims of an undisclosed amount of money, a firearm, and a vehicle which they drove away with."
The four assailants were arrested after the Bekkers' vehicle, a Renault Kwid stolen from the crime scene, overturned in Villiers, Free State.
The other party DA slammed Malema, accusing him of inciting ethnic violence. "This is a man who is determined to ignite... civil war," said party leader John Steenhuisen. He described the firebrand politician as a "bloodthirsty tyrant" bent on inciting "mass murder." The DA would file a complaint against him with the UN Human Rights Council and was considering further legal action.
Moreover, X's South Africa-born platform owner Elon Musk has spent the past week tweeting about the incident and slamming Malema and his party. In one tweet Monday, he claimed the organizers were "openly pushing for genocide of white people in South Africa," and asked President Cyril Ramaphosa, who belongs to a different party from Malema, "Why do you say nothing?"
On Friday, the tech mogul posted a screenshot of a New York Times article that cites historians who argue the song is not meant to be taken literally. He criticized the news outlet for supporting calls for "racial killings," recommending people to "cancel" the newspaper and circumvent its paywall. He later tweeted the Times "does punch above its weight for a regional publication. Well done."
The New York Times actually has the nerve to support calls for genocide! If ever there was a time to cancel that publication, it is now.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 4, 2023
Meanwhile, Malema defended the song in a press conference and attacked Musk, saying he "looks like an illiterate" and the "only thing that protects him is his white skin."
Still, the EFF denied that the chant constitutes a direct call for violence.
South African Black Party leader Julius Malema doubles down on “kill the Boer (Whites), kill the White farmer” song calling for genocide of whites, then attacks Elon Musk:
“He looks like an illiterate. The only thing that protects him is his white skin.” pic.twitter.com/6tEKafNHyJ
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 3, 2023
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