The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment in a case in which the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) workers were fired for singing a struggle song, which included references to harming the "boer" during a strike in April 2013.
Manufacturing firm Duncanmec fired eight staff members because they sang an isiZulu struggle song‚ that loosely translates to “climb up to the roof and tell them my mother rejoices when we hit the boer”. The workers say they shouldn’t have been fired for this.
Eyewitness News reporter Qaanitha Hunter was in court.
Numsa, which represents these workers is adamant that the employer is trying to not abide by the labour court judgment that said that they need to be reinstated and be paid three months pay.— Qaanitha Hunter, Eyewitness News reporter
They say the song is a struggle song, it cannot be racist or divisive.— Qaanitha Hunter, Eyewitness News reporter
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Historian, Professor Pitikia Ntuli joined Joanne Joseph on the Afternoon Drive to unpack this.
He says any resistance song is valid when a protest takes place.
If workers are struggling or protesting against something, the best way they do it is to sing those kind of freedom songs. I see no reason why they should be stopped from doing so.— Professor Pitikia Ntuli, historian
There is an issue of hate speech, but that hate speech has got to be very clearly defined. It depends on the lyrics, on the words themselves.— Professor Pitikia Ntuli, historian
Click on the link below to listen to the full discussion....