‘Hit the boer’ appeal dismissed by top court

The Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal relating to the singing of struggle song containing lyrics about 'hitting the boer'.
The Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal relating to the singing of struggle song containing lyrics about 'hitting the boer'.
Image: Karen van Rooyen

The Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by the company that fired eight employees five years ago for singing a struggle song that rejoiced in “hitting the boer”.

Duncanmec‚ a company manufacturing refuse-handling equipment in Johannesburg‚ dismissed the employees in 2013 after they embarked on an unprotected strike due to an overtime dispute.

The workers were not dismissed because of the unprotected strike‚ but rather for singing a struggle song in Zulu‚ which in English translates to: “Climb on top of the roof and tell them my mother is rejoicing when we hit the boer.”

Duncanmec’s firing of the workers was short-lived, with the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration setting aside the dismissal.

Efforts by Duncanmec to review the commission’s decision were dismissed – first by the Labour Court in July 2016‚ then by the Labour Appeal Court in October 2017.

Duncanmec then applied for leave to appeal against this ruling. The matter was heard, and dismissed, in May.

The Constitutional Court said the word that Duncanmec objected to was not an offensive racist term.

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