Monday, February 14, 2011
Zuma, Afrikaners bond at braai
Zuma, Afrikaners bond at braai
Mr Jacob Zuma explains to Steve Hofmeyr and Leon Schuster how a a piece of meat should be braaied. (Nardus Engelbrecht, Beeld)
Galleries · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
Related Links'I took him biltong'
Zuma plea to church on morals
Zuma wants political tolerance
Johannesburg - He calls it nyama, they call it meat.
This little difference did not stop Jacob Zuma and a few well-known Afrikaners to enjoy a good old barbecue in Houghton, Johannesburg.
"Meat shouldn't be braaied on a braai grid. It should lie there between the hot coals, fighting for its life," Zuma told his companions.
The former deputy president Zuma grabbed the braai tong to show Steve Hofmeyr, Leon Schuster, Kallie Kriel and Dr Dan Roodt how it's done.
Hofmeyr said: "Zuma is one of the few leaders with whom I would sit around a fire. He's an honest man and speaks like an Afrikaner - a straight forward person."
Zuma and the group of about ten Afrikaners enjoyed their braai until late at night, while 12 security guards kept a watchful eye.
Zuma admitted his Afrikaans was 'vrot' (pathetic): "But in 1963 I had to learn very quickly when the police arrested me and shouted the word 'kakie' all the time. They hit me and I couldn't understand why. Only later I realised that they were looking for my identity card. I will never forget the word 'kaartjie' (card)."
"A lot of things have changed and it is now a real pleasure to sit around a table with Afrikaners," Zuma added.
Hofmeyr agreed: "We come from different backgrounds, and what's better than sitting around a braai and chatting about our differences."
The only thing that Schuster regretted was, that he did not bring his Mama Jack-mask along.
When someone asked Zuma whether Sean Else, one of the guests, should also write a song like De la Rey about Zuma, Zuma replied that he would feel very flattered if it every happened.
Else didn't fall for that, though: "I'm sure there are much better songwriters than me who've got the right background to write something about Zuma."
The braai was organised by Elzilda Becker, publisher of De Kat magazine, for the front page of the magazine's May edition.
On Bono’s instinct for what is right and wrong
Feb 14th, 2011 by Pierre De Vos. 33 comments
When I was a poor student, squatting in the living room of a two bedroom apartment in Stellenbosch, one of my most prized possessions was a record (those were the days before CD’s, DVD’s or Ipods) of a band called U2. The album was The Joshua Tree and the lead singer was a guy with the strange name of Bono, which admittedly sounds like the name of a clown in a circus – but at least Bono wears cool sunglasses. I played that record over and over again and can still recall some of the lyrics of “Where the Streets Have no Name”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I am Looking For” and “Mother’s of the Disappeared”. (My other prized records included Wie is Bernoldus Niemand which contained the classic Pretoria song, “Snor City”, and Stimela’s “Look, Listen and Decide”.)
Well, now U2 is touring South Africa and Bono is turning out to have a better feel for justice and what the contours of the law might be than a far less talented musician like Steve Hofmeyer (who is famous for doing cover versions of Neil Diamond and for extolling the virtues of Die Blou Bul). In an interview with The Sunday Times Bono compared the singing of “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” to singing rebel songs about the Irish Republican Army. Bono is then quoted as saying:
We sang this and it’s fair to say it’s folk music… as this was the struggle of some people that sang it over some time,” he told the newspaper. But the rocker went on to say such songs shouldn’t be sung in the wrong context. Would you want to sing that in a certain community? It’s pretty dumb. It’s about where and when you sing those songs. There’s a rule for that kind of music.
Steve Hofmeyer was rather upset by this and, perhaps forgetting the lessons taught to him at the Voortrekkers and Veldskool about not polluting the environment, allegedly threw his U2 concert tickets in the Jukskei River. Hofmeyer wrote on his Facebook page that “Bono is trying to lick the asses of the ANC by attempting to validate hate speech struggle songs by comparing them to Ireland’s songs”.
It turns out that Hofmeyer is talking through his nose and that Bono’s statement perfectly captures the legal position in South Africa regarding utterances that could be construed as hate speech. As I have argued before, it would be constitutionally impermissible to ban such a song outright on the basis that it constitutes hate speech. Section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act states that:
no person may publish, propagate, advocate or communicate words based on one or more of the prohibited grounds, against any person, that could reasonably be construed to demonstrate a clear intention to be hurtful; be harmful or to incite harm; promote or propagate hatred.
Section 12 of the Act also seems to make an exception for “bona fide engagement in artistic creativity, academic and scientific inquiry, fair and accurate reporting in the public interest in accordance with section 16 of the Constitution”. In other words, songs or words that might have constituted hate speech in certain contexts, might not constitute hate speech in other contexts, depending on who utters it, where it is uttered and in what form it is uttered.
This means that what is required to establish that hate speech has occurred is for us to focus on the intention of the person who uttered the alleged hateful words or sang the alleged hateful song. Could it be reasonably construed by a well-informed, thoughtful and objective observer (therefore not Steve Hofmeyer) that the uttering of the words or the singing of the song in a particular context by a particular individual in a particular format demonstrated an intention to harm others because of their race, sex, gender, sexual orientation and the like.
The question is not whether some people were hurt or felt aggrieved by the singing of the song. It is not even whether some people like Hofmeyer have concluded that the song was sung with the intention to be hurtful to Afrikaners. The question is, objectively speaking, whether given the facts and the context one can reasonably conclude that the person or group who sang the song had the intention to harm or hurt others on the basis of their race.
For example, if the Drakensberg Boys Choir sang “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” at a choir competition in Vienna as part of a medley of struggle songs, no court in its right mind is going to find that the singing of the song in that context constituted hate speech prohibited by section 10 of PEPUDA because those boys could not reasonably be construed as having had the intention to harm others on the basis of their race. If the song is used as part of a soundtrack of a documentary about the United Democratic Front and the uprising against the apartheid state in the nineteen eighties, one would be hard pressed, once again, to make a finding of hate speech. Neither would the homophobic utterances of a fictional character in Spud constitute hate speech.
Bono’s assertion that it is all about when and where you sing such a song is therefore spot on. If he stops being a musician and an ambassador for World Peace, he might want to consider studying law (but then he won’t be allowed to wear those cool sunglasses to work). He obviously has a better instinct for what is right and wrong and for where the law should draw the line than that polluting musician, Steve Hofmeyer.
Of course, one is entitled to express a dislike for the song – no matter in what context it is sung or performed. One is entitled to boycott a band if one does not like its politics (although one should really not pollute a river – even the Jukskei River – in the process). Maybe there are big Steve Hofmeyer fans who live in Cape Town and wish to boycott U2’s concert here in support of their hero. I would support their boycott one hundred percent – especially if they agree not to throw their tickets in the Liesbeek River but rather to give those tickets to me so that I can make good use of them.
.Posted in: ANC, Freedom of expression.
Mixed reaction to Hofmeyr’s U2 rant
February 14 2011 at 12:30pm
By Angelique Serrao and Esther Lewis
South Africans have reacted with both anger and humour to the news that Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr threw his U2 tickets into the Jukskei River.
Hofmeyr threw his tickets, worth R5 000, away in protest to Bono allegedly saying he supported the Shoot The Boer and other struggle songs.
AfriForum is embroiled in a legal battle with ANC Youth League president Julius Malema over the song, deemed as hate speech on one side, and heritage on the other.
The Sunday Times quoted Bono as saying there was nothing wrong with singing struggle songs, but they should be off limits in public gatherings.
Hofmeyr tweeted that while his rocker buddies would never forgive him for tossing the tickets into the Jukskei, his dead volk would.
The artist also tweeted that if Malema succeeded in his quest, he would sponsor the K-word in the WAT digital dictionary.
South Africans were divided in their reaction to the controversy on Facebook and Twitter.
Many said they would no longer support U2 and planned to shun their music.
Many posted on their Facebook wall comments such as: “Any person who makes statements in support of fuelling racial tension in South Africa, cannot earn my respect or support. I refuse to support U2 and think that Bono should apologise to the people of South Africa for speaking out in support of Malema and his Kill the Boer Kill the Farmer song. This nation should not tolerate his arrogance. Post this to your profile if you dare?”
Sheridan Crawford called Bono a “marooney”.
“I’m gonna go out and kill my U2 CDs,” he said.
Others found the situation a lot more humorous. Shayne Dyuphu decided to get innovative when he heard the news.
“I’ve been sitting here for 2hrs now! hoping 1 of the U2 tickets Steve Hofmeyr dumped up stream is gonna float by*fingers crossed*8-)”
Heinrich Dirk The-ll meanwhile cracked a joke on Hofmeyr’s lack of an international fan base.
“Steve Hofmeyr threw his U2 tickets in the river in protest of Bono defending Shoot the Boer (song).
“Bono reacted by saying: “Who the f*** is Steve Halfmeyer?”
Singer Chris Chameleon tweeted that it was the first time Bono chose against the side of the oppressed.
AfriForum’s attorney Willie Spies said Bono should know that it was dangerous for any artist to express themselves on politics of their host country.
He said it would be a pity if the comments of an “uninformed foreign artist” were used to justify Malema and his allies.
“Be that as it may, Malema could benefit from Bono’s advice that it is foolish to sing liberation songs to any public audience,” said Spies.
Solidarity’s Dirk Herman said he felt hurt by the comments. “It’s extremely insensitive of him. He mustn’t stick his nose into South African politics,” he said.
Herman also said he would never attend a U2 concert or support their music in future.
The Freedom of Expression Institute’s Jayshree Pather said the central issue was the definition of hate speech and the implications it had for freedom of expression.
“We should be careful about what we campaign for as hate speech so that we don’t narrow the space for alternative, critical voices to be heard,” said Pather.
U2 performed in Johannesburg last night, and is due to perform in Cape Town on Friday.