Talk of civil war ‘absolutely exaggerated’


No, the EFF’s singing of “Kill the Boer” will not lead to a civil war.

This could well (beware us) result in an incident like the one on Strijdomplein 35 years ago and is the very last thing South Africa needs now in terms of the ongoing fight against farm attacks and farm murders, says an expert on politics and governance .

The DA hinted this week that South Africa is headed for a civil war like in the 1990s after Julius Malema and thousands of his supporters sang the song “Kill the Boer” during the EFF’s birthday celebrations at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg last weekend. .

“Julius Malema stood on a stage in front of 100,000 people in Soweto and promoted hatred, division and ethnic violence,” John Steenhuisen, leader of the DA, said this week in response to the incident.

“From that stadium in Soweto, Malema told thousands of followers to ‘shoot to kill’. He instructed them to kill the farmer…imitating the sound of machine gun fire.

“Julius Malema told us exactly who he is. It’s time we believe him.”

Since then, RNews has prof. Theo Neethling, head of political studies and government at the University of the Free State, approached about people’s fears of a civil war in this context.

Neethling says talk of a civil war is “absolutely exaggerated”.

According to Neethling, the concept of a civil war refers to when a political movement revolts against a ruling government.

“And there is absolutely no political movement in South Africa currently preparing to wage war against the government. A civil war? Not at all… The concept is completely misplaced and irrelevant in this context.”

Neethling says, however, that Malema’s chant of “Kill the Boer” incites racial conflict. “And we live in a country where we cannot afford bad race relations.”

Neethling believes that the instigation of racial conflict could possibly result in an incident similar to the one on Strijdomplein in Pretoria in 1988 “where one or two or three people lose their minds”.

Barend (Wit Wolf) Strydom, a white man, shot and killed eight people on 15 November 1988, seven of them on the square and one beforehand, and injured 16 people. Seven of the victims were black, while one was Indian.

“Even that is highly unlikely, but in politics nothing is impossible,” says Neethling about the possibility of a similar incident now more than 35 years later.

‘Context of farm murders extremely important’

Like organized agriculture, Neethling is extremely concerned about the effects that the chant of “Kill the Boer” has on farmers and the fight against farm murders and farm attacks.

“This is the context in which this thing stands and certainly the very, very last thing we need in this country,” he explains.

“Farm attacks and farm murders are an extremely serious problem and the song is fuel to the fire.”

But how now since the equality court found last year that the song is not hate speech?

Neethling says Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa should speak out about the song. However, the presidency made it clear this week that the president has no intention of commenting on it.

“It’s like there’s a zipper on his mouth about this stuff,” says Neethling.

“This indicates that he is simply a weak president who is not prepared to take a stand. A decent president will call for peace and good coexistence in this country. And he doesn’t. It’s so disappointing.”

However, Neethling does not believe all is lost.

RNews reported earlier that AfriForum has already appointed a well-known senior lawyer and legal team to take on Malema in the Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein next month for his singing of the song “Kill the Boer”.

The FF Plus has meanwhile let it be known that it will report Malema to the Human Rights Commission and the DA intends to approach the United Nations (UN).

“Carry this case forward and don’t stop,” agreed Neethling.