The Constitutional Court's finding that the word "Boer" – as used in a co-called struggle song – is not in itself hate speech, but that it may be inappropriate, is a purely technical ruling and could be misinterpreted to mean that the word may be freely used in such songs.
The reality is that the use of the word "Boer" must be seen in the context of the song in which it is used as it has already become synonymous with hate speech and slogans like “kill the boer, kill the farmer” and “shoot the boer”, both of which former President Jacob Zuma uses often.
Seen within this context, the specific song with the words “hit the boer” can, therefore, be seen as incitement to violence against farmers. In addition, it is general knowledge that the word "Boer" is sometimes also used to refer to the Afrikaner.
The FF Plus expected the Constitutional Court to pass a stronger judgement against the use of the word and the Court should have pointed out that it could lead to incitement to violence.
It also raises the question of whether songs with the words "Hit the blacks" will be judged by the same yardstick, should such songs be sung.
The South African society is already becoming strongly polarised as a result of racist statements against white people in particular. The widely used slogan that white people stole the land together with the Constitutional Court's ruling certainly do nothing to promote social cohesion in an environment where the relationships between different races are already strained.
It is lamentable that the Constitutional Court let a golden opportunity to show that white people, and in particular the Afrikaner, can also be victims of racism slip through its fingers.
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