Should Die Stem be removed from the national anthem?

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

Image courtesy stock.xchnge

The EFF has again called for an excerpt of Die Stem to be cut from the National Anthem.

In a statement to mark Heritage Day, the party’s national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Die Stem was a heritage of oppression and indignity. “It is a song of oppressors, racists and mass murderers. Nkosi Sikelela must be sung in the same way as our people did when they were praying for a land free from oppression during colonial and apartheid years,” said Ndlozi.

“National anthems are songs of collective pride and we cannot be proud of the songs of mass murderous regimes,” said Ndlozi. He said all colonial and apartheid symbols which still occupied places of prominence must also be removed.

“There must be no public celebration and valuation of racists who presided over the oppression and mass murder of the black majority. If South African heritage is to be given any dignity land must be redistributed and all colonial and apartheid symbols must fall,” Ndlozi said.

The Congress of the People (Cope) in turn has slammed the EFF’s call to remove Die Stem from the national anthem. “Young people are generally angry people. We accept that,” said Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota.

“What we need from them, however, is constructive anger that propels the whole of society forward. “Anger that destroys and takes us back is self-defeating. South Africa does not need a new breed of fascists from whichever side. Our heritage is founded on discussion and negotiations and that is what we must celebrate and preserve.”

Lekota noted South Africa had done “what no other nation in history did before us. We found a way out of a deep political quagmire and impasse through spirited and constructive negotiations. As a nation of proud negotiators we must never surrender the power of intercession and honest engagement.”

He said the EFF proposal would aggravate and make things considerably worse for society’s “worst affected”. “Robust populism and slogans make good sound bites and media copy. However, whatever is populist oversimplifies everything and therefore fails to understand the impact of unintended consequences. Hotheads on either side will plunge our country into chaos and conflict. South Africa is for all who live in it. That is how we must keep it,” Lekota said.

TALKING POINT > Should Die Stem be removed from the national anthem?

“Die Stem van Suid-Afrika”

Uit die blou van onse hemel, Uit die diepte van ons see, Oor ons ewige gebergtes
Waar die kranse antwoord gee.
Deur ons vêr verlate vlaktes
Met die kreun van ossewa.
Ruis die stem van ons geliefde, Van ons land Suid-Afrika.
Ons sal antwoord op jou roepstem, Ons sal offer wat jy vra:
Ons sal lewe, ons sal sterwe, Ons vir jou, Suid-Afrika.
In die murg van ons gebeente, in ons hart en siel en gees,
In ons roem op ons verlede, In ons hoop op wat sal wees.
In ons wil en werk en wandel, Van ons wieg tot aan ons graf.
Deel geen ander land ons liefde, Trek geen ander trou ons af.
Vaderland, ons sal die adel, Van jou naam met ere dra:
Waar en trou as Afrikaners, Kinders van Suid-Afrika.
In die songloed van ons somer, in ons winternag se kou, In die lente van ons liefde,
in die lanfer van ons rou.
By die klink van huw’liksklokkies, by die kluit-klap op die kis.
Streel jou stem ons nooit verniet nie, Weet jy waar jou kinders is.
Op jou roep sê ons nooit née nie, Sê ons altyd, altyd ja:
Om te lewe, om te sterwe – Ja, ons kom, Suid-Afrika.
Op U Almag vas vertrouend In thy power, het ons vadere gebou:
Skenk ook ons die krag, o Here!
Om te handhaaf en te hou.
Dat die erwe van ons vadere
Vir ons kinders erwe bly:
Knegte van die Allerhoogste, Teen die hele wêreld vry.
Soos ons vadere vertrou het, Leer ook ons vertrou, o Heer:
Met ons land en met ons nasie
Sal dit wel wees, God regeer.




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