Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 13:31 UK

South Africa's ANC stops singing 'Shoot the Boer'

Julius Malema
Julius Malema has insisted on his right to sing "Shoot the Boer"

South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) has told its members to refrain from singing the anti-apartheid struggle song "Shoot the Boer".

It comes amid rising racial tensions following the weekend murder of white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche.

His supporters have blamed ANC youth leader Julius Malema for inflaming the situation by singing the song.

The ANC's Gwede Mantashe said the death had no political motive but the song had contributed to racial polarisation.

Boer is an Afrikaans word for farmer, which has become a derogatory term for all white people.


"The restraint will remove excuses... to whip up racial hatred," the South African Press Association quotes Mr Mantashe, the ANC's secretary-general, as saying.

Eugene Terreblanche in Pretoria in June 2004

On Tuesday, black and white South Africans scuffled outside court when two farm workers were charged with Terreblanche's murder on his farm last Saturday.

Mr Mantashe said the ANC had not banned the song, which the party has said is part of the country's history and the fight against white minority rule.

But the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Johannesburg says asking ANC supporters not to sing it is the closest thing to it.

All parts of the ANC have been informed of the decision, but it is aimed at just one man - Mr Malema, he says.

The controversial ANC Youth League leader has insisted on exercising what he says is his right to sing "Shoot the Boer" at rallies.

Opposition politicians have complained that the song incites racial hatred and have gone to court to try to get Mr Malema to stop singing it.

Police have said two farm workers admitted beating Terreblanche to death in a dispute over unpaid wages.

Terreblanche, 69, was fiercely opposed to the end of apartheid in South Africa, which led to the ANC winning the country's first democratic elections in 1994 and Nelson Mandela becoming the country's first black president.

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