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article imageBono stirs up anger with remarks about song

By Lynn Curwin     Feb 13, 2011 in Entertainment
Irish pop star Bono has upset some people with remarks he made about a South African song which includes words which translate as "shoot the farmer."
During an interview before a concert in Soweto Bono spoke to the Sunday Times about several subjects, including the uproar around the singing over a song.
Julius Malema, the leader of South Africa's African National Congress youth wing, sang Ayasab' amagwala (The Cowards are Scared) at a rally in 2010, and is now in a legal battle over whether it should be banned as hate speech.
The song, which was sung during the fight against apartheid in the 1980s, sings of killing the Boers (an Afrikaans word for farmer which is sometimes used to include all white people in South Africa).
"I was a kid and I'd sing songs I remember my uncles singing ... rebel songs about the early days of the Irish Republican Army," he told the Sunday Times.
He said the songs could be called folk music, adding: "But would you want to sing that in a certain community? It's pretty dumb.
"Yet it's about where and when you sing those songs. There's a rule for that kind of music."
Some people interpreted the remarks as support for Malema, with the Pretoria News running a headline that says: "Bono backs Malema".
Some people feel the song stirs up racial hatred.
"That's hate speech. They don't know our history at all," the BBC reported that one called told a South African radio talk show.
Afrikaans musician Steve Hofmeyr told Twitter followers that he had thrown more than £400-worth of tickets for last night’s for the U2 concert into a river in protest.
“Anytime you mention this song, you are guaranteed to stir things up,” The Telegraph quoted Sheldon Morais, an editor with Johannesburg's Talk Radio 702, as saying. “There was a lot of discussion about this, a lot of anger from call-ins. It has died down during the day, and I think people realised he was not endorsing Malema and this song, just talking about protest songs in general.”
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