Struggle Music: South African Politics in Song

Le Roux-Kemp, Andra (2014) Struggle Music: South African Politics in Song. Law and Humanities, 8 (2). pp. 247-268. ISSN 1752-1483

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Music, and especially singing, plays a central role in African cultures. Songs and rhythm have been described as 'a truly African way of communication' and it is therefore not surprising that music has played, and continues to play, an important role in African politics. This article will consider the important role that struggle music - also known as freedom songs – played in South Africa during the apartheid years and the struggle for liberation, and how it continues to play an important role in contemporary South African politics. First, the genre of struggle music will be circumscribed and differentiated from other politically motivated music. Then the discussion will turn to the struggle music of South Africa during the apartheid years, and how it is still being utilised in politics today. With regard to the contemporary use of struggle music in South African politics, the discussion will focus on the controversial struggle song Dubulu' iBhunu and the decision of the South African Equality Court in Afriforum & another v Malema and another (Vereniging van Regslui vir Afrikaans as Amicus Curiae) 2011 (12) BCLR 1289 (EQC) prohibiting the singing of the song in public and declaring its lyrics to be hate speech.

Keywords:Struggle Music, Hate Speech, South Africa, Apartheid
Subjects:M Law > M190 Law by Area not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:36626
Deposited On:19 Aug 2019 15:04

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