S.Africa's ANC takes hate song trial to constitutional court

16th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

South Africa's ruling African National Congress will appeal to the Constitutional Court to be allowed to sing a racially charged anti-apartheid song, the party's spokesman said Sunday.

The country's equality court imposed a ban on singing the lyrics that mean "shoot the white farmer" at the end of September, but granted the party leave to appeal.

"We are going to apply to present the matter to the Constitutional Court," ANC spokesman Keith Khoza told AFP.

Usually the Supreme Court of Appeals presides over appeals cases, but the ruling party will leapfrog and go straight to the constitutional authority instead, Khoza said.

"We thought it would be appropriate to solve the issue by addressing the constitutionality of the ruling."

The ANC claims the ban violates its right to freedom of expression and argues that the freedom song is part of the country's history.

The civil case was brought by Afriforum, which sees itself as a rights group for minority whites, arguing that the song's Zulu chorus is used to single out whites for violence.

Afriforum said it would oppose the application and alleged the ANC wanted to sort out the legal issues early so its supporters could sing the song during the party's 100-year anniversary celebrations in January.

Meanwhile ANC Youth League members have been singing the song in public in a direct challenge to the court ruling.

© 2011 AFP

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