April 03 2010 at 08:35AM
By Candice Bailey and Lovemore Moyo
Twelve hours after he was banned by the Pretoria High Court from singing Dubula Ibhunu (kill the boer), Julius Malema flew in to a hero's welcome in Harare. A crowd of Zanu-PF supporters and Zimbabwean government officials sang the song as a sign of support.
Flanked by his delegation and hordes of Zanu-PF officials and businessmen, Malema looked surprised on hearing the song from Zanu-PF supporters, but smiled, clapped his hands and started nodding in approval as members of his delegation joined in.
He was then whisked away in a Mercedes-Benz ML owned by President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Patrick Zhuwawo, as part of a 30-vehicle cavalcade.
The civil rights movement AfriForum brought the interdict against Malema in the Pretoria High Court on Thursday night - the second time Malema had been gagged in less than a week - in a bid, it said, to protect his life.
A viral SMS, which the ANC has deemed a "declaration to kill", spread across the country this week, putting a R2 million bounty on his life.
Meanwhile, 20 000 people have joined an Afriforum Facebook site, paying R10 a time to help fund its court actions in its "Stop Malema" campaign.
Yesterday, an incensed ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu warned AfriForum and the Freedom Front Plus of the "unintended consequences" of the campaign, saying "apartheid propaganda" like this had led to the assassination of SACP legend Chris Hani. The ANC has approached Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to investigate who is behind the SMS.
Last Friday, the Johannesburg High Court indirectly silenced the firebrand leader when it ruled that the use of the words "dubula ibhunu" was unconstitutional and unlawful.
Malema is now also expressly forbidden from uttering any song of a similar nature that incites violence.
Yesterday, Malema received an unexpected boost from the Azanian Youth Organisation (Azayo), which said singing Dubula Ibhunu was a reminder of what remained to be done in South Africa.
Azayo spokesman Sibongile Somdaka said the song formed part of South Africa's collective history and could not be abandoned to please "the liberal media and white right-wing groups for the sake of reconciliation".
"So long as there is still a lack of ownership of our land by blacks and fair distribution of resources... Azayo will continue to sing "shoot the boere/dubula ibhunu" in all our gatherings... to remind the coming (sic) of where we come from, and what still needs to be done in the country," he said.
AfriForum youth leader Ernst Roets told the Saturday Star this week that the ruling actually protected Malema.
"People are really frustrated and scared by the statement. He is putting fuel onto a potential fire. People want to... stop him.
"We are protecting him from himself. If he continues to sing this song he will... make more enemies. He can't continue to... incite racial violence and polarise the country," Roets said.
AfriForum approached the Pretoria High Court this week after Malema refused to meet its ultimatum to apologise for singing the song at the University of Johannesburg last month and on other occasions.
Granting the interdict, Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann said South Africa's democracy was still fragile and politicians had to consider things that could offend other groups.
The ANC yesterday said it was disappointed at Judge Bertelsmann's "lack of consideration" for the song's historical context. "We will now concentrate our efforts in challenging the application... at the Equality Court," said Mthembu.
Earlier this week, the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association said it was becoming frustrated by the efforts of "untransformed judges" to subvert its history.
Association president Kebby Maphatsoe said on Wednesday he would use the ANC's September gathering to push for transformation of the judiciary.
"The people sitting there to judge were produced by the apartheid regime," he said.
The Pan African Congress Youth League, however, yesterday welcomed the court ruling, calling it a step in the right direction for nation-building.
PAC Youth League president Pitso Mphasha said songs like these were dividing the nation.
Meanwhile, Malema will spend the weekend at the five-star Rainbow Towers Hotel, where President Jacob Zuma stays when in Harare.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is downplaying Malema's visit, claiming it is a propaganda visit aimed at promoting failed Zanu-PF policies.
Malema was due to address a Zanu-PF youth rally in the Mbare township before attending a dinner hosted by a Zanu-PF pressure organisation, the Affirmative Action Group.
He is in the country to study the country's nationalisation programmes, which he wishes to implement in South Africa, especially on the mines.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Saturday Star on April 03, 2010