The Performative Turn: Julius Malema’s Song, Dubul I’Bunu, as Hate Speech


Mark Whelan

it is now over three years since I wrote a report on Julius Malema’s song, Dubul I’Bunu (Kill the Boer), and proposed that it was a form of hate speech. It was written a year after a South African court found Malema guilty of inciting hate speech during the singing of his controversial song. It took another year before the African National Congress banned him entirely as a party member.

It appears that Malema was not initially banned for the singing of this song, but rather for his utterances against South Africa’s neighbour, Botswana. I was proud to have received a distinction for this paper and felt vindicated that there was agreement with what I had written.


“  We are fighting this war “ , Noel said, “ so that minorities will have a say in their destinies “

J M Coetzee, Life and Times of Michael K.

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