Translation of ‘Dubula Ibhuna’ is upsetting people: Judge


THE translation of the song lyrics Dubula ibhunu as “shoot the boer” was what was upsetting people, Judge Collin Lamont said during closing arguments in the hate speech case against ANCYL president Julius Malema today (May 19).


However, he said this did not mean that the audience to which Malema was singing the song translated the words in the same way.


“It is common cause that [shoot the boer] could be the translation, but we can’t say it is the proper translation,” Lamont said in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting as the Equality Court.


“The context of the song is destroy the regime [apartheid].” He said words sung in a particular language may have a meaning to one audience and that a translation could have a meaning to a different audience.


Lamont was speaking during closing arguments by AfriForum and Tau-SA.


AfriForum’s lawyer Martin Brassey said the ANC had failed to establish that the song sung during the struggle years against apartheid was not considered inflammatory.


Tau-SA’s lawyer Roelof Du Plessis agreed.


He said the ANC should have held a formal press conference when the translation of the song lyrics was first published explaining what it meant and why it was being sung.


Last month the words “dubhula ibhunu” and their symbolic, literal and historic meaning were scrutinised by witnesses from farmers’ organisation Tau-SA and civil rights group AfriForum. The latter brought the case against Malema and the ANC.


The ANC has defended Malema’s singing of the lyrics four times in South Africa and once in Zimbabwe last year.


The translation of the song lyrics “dubula ibhunu” as “shoot the boer” was what was upsetting people, Judge Collin Lamont said during closing arguments in the hate speech case against ANCYL president Julius Malema on Thursday.


However, he said this did not mean that the audience to which Malema was singing the song translated the words in the same way.


“It is common cause that [shoot the boer] could be the translation, but we can’t say it is the proper translation,” Lamont said in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting as the Equality Court.


“The context of the song is destroy the regime [apartheid].” He said words sung in a particular language may have a meaning to one audience and that a translation could have a meaning to a different audience.


Lamont was speaking during closing arguments by AfriForum and Tau-SA.


AfriForum’s lawyer Martin Brassey said the ANC had failed to establish that the song sung during the struggle years against apartheid was not considered inflammatory.


Tau-SA’s lawyer Roelof Du Plessis agreed.


He said the ANC should have held a formal press conference when the translation of the song lyrics was first published explaining what it meant and why it was being sung.


Last month the words “dubhula ibhunu” and their symbolic, literal and historic meaning were scrutinised by witnesses from farmers’ organisation Tau-SA and civil rights group AfriForum. The latter brought the case against Malema and the ANC.


The ANC has defended Malema’s singing of the lyrics four times in South Africa and once in Zimbabwe last year.

Leave a Reply

Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment moderation policy. Your email address is required but will not be published.