n the new South Africa, there is a renewed appreciation for the old slogan, "Kill the Boer, kill the farmer,
" chanted at political rallies and funerals during "The Struggle" (against apartheid
). ANC youth leader Peter Mokaba is credited
with originating the catch phrase. Mokaba went on to become a parliamentarian and a deputy minister in the Mandela cabinet. By the time he expired in 2002 at the age of forty three (rumor has it of AIDS), Mokaba had revived the riff, using it liberally, in defiance of laws against incitement to commit murder
. Given the mesmerizing, often murderous, power of the chant ─ any chant ─ in African life, many blame Mokaba for the current onslaught
against the country's white farmers.
Mokaba's legacy lives on. Late in February of 2010, a senior member of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) ─ a competing socialist, racialist political party whose motto is "Africa for the Africans" ─ set-up a page on the social networking site Facebook. For all to see were comments such as the following, written by
one Ahmed El Saud:
Kill the fucking whites now!!! If you afraid for [sic] them, lets [sic] do it for you. In return, you can pay us after the job has been done... text us ... We are not afraid for [sic] the whites like your own people... its disgrace [sic] … he ask you and you dont [sic] want to... we will do it Mandela! [sic].
Other messages matched the savagery of El Saud's sentences, if not their syntax. One boasted of "an army of 3000 people ready to kill white people within a day if it were called upon to do so." Western Cape PAC chairman Anwar Adams
, the responsible functionary, refused to remove the page. Needless to say, his sinecure has not been affected.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) took a pixelated page out of the PAC's Facebook. Days later, this post appeared on a Facebook page under the name of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema
You fucking white pigs. Malema is our leader. He will kill (President Jacob) Zuma within the next six weeks. "Look ahead, my fellow black people. We will then take our land, and every trespasser, namely white whores, we will rape them and rape them till the last breath is out. "White kids will be burned, especially those in Pretoria and Vrystaat. Men will be tortured while I take a video clip and spread it on YouTube," read one post. It continued: "Its [sic] true what Malema said, silently we shall kill them ... Police will stand together ... our leader will lead us to take our land over. Mandela will smile again. "White naaiers, we coming for you! Households will be broken into and families will be slaughtered.
Was the murderer of seventeen-year-old Anika Smit, also in March of 2010, a Facebook friend of Malema? When Johan Smit bid his bonny daughter goodbye, before leaving the home they shared in north Pretoria, he did not imagine he'd never again see her alive. Naked and mutilated is how this father found his only child on returning that day from work. Anika's throat had been slashed sixteen times and her hands hacked off. She had been raped.
In Malema's defense, the ANC claimed he was not on Facebook. The youth leader might be hard to track down in cyberspace, but Malema performed in person at the University of Johannesburg, stomping about with a group of students and singing, in Zulu, "Shoot the Boers
, they are rapists." ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe spun Malema's live performance by choosing to dismiss the power of "Kill the Boer." "The song was only a means of ensuring South African history was remembered and not meant as an incitement to violence against whites," Mantashe insisted.
No one who remembers the role of Radio Rwanda (first) and Radio-Télévision Libre des Milles Collines
(RTLM), next, in galvanizing the Hutu to exterminate
the Tutsi "inyenzi" ("cockroaches") can shrug off what is underway in South Africa. Many South African blacks have a pathological preoccupation with variants of "Kill the Boer; kill the farmer." In its hypnotic hold on the popular imagination, the mantra resembles the "'Kill them before they kill you" slogan that helped excite Hutus to massacre half a million of their Tutsi neighbors
In Rwanda, it was the old media that transmitted older hatreds; in Mandela's South Africa the new media is doing the same. Is Facebook the face of incitement to genocide in South Africa?
©2010 By ILANA MERCERVDARE.COMMarch 31
Peter Mokaba's funeral was attended by the current South African president Jacob Zuma and his two predecessors, Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela. At the sight of the coffined Mokaba, the crowd roared, "Kill the Boer, kill the farmer!" Witnesses will not say whether Nelson Mandela ("Madiba") partook
, but to dispel any doubts about the esteem in which this son of the New South Africa is held, the ANC named a soccer stadium, built for the soccer world cup, after Mokaba.