One of South AfricaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s major kwaito hits, Kaffir, released 14 years
ago and recently replayed on 5FM, has cost the station a R10000 fine,
imposed by the broadcast watchdog, writes Monica Laganparsad in the Sunday Times.
But the DJ at the centre of the fuss has blamed the outcry on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œwhite guiltÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa
(BCCSA) ruled this week that Arthur MafokateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s controversial 1995
protest song has ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œno placeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â in a country where ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œpolitical correctness
and sensitivity need to be practisedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
The song, considered a classic, starts with the words:
Kom hier, kaffer, kom hier! Hoekom het jy nie my kar skoongemaak nie.
.. Bliksem! The reaction follows: Baas, donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t call me a kaffir…
The song goes on to say: I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t come from the devil, donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t call me a kaffir, you wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t like it if I call you baboon.
Although it was an instant hit in post-apartheid South
Africa ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â it sold more than 150000 copies and became a club sensation ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â
it was banned by several radio stations.
Last November 5FMÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s DJ Fresh outraged several listeners
when he played the song on his drive time showÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s daily segment known as
Cheese of the Day. The weekÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s theme was kwaito.
The SABC, owners of 5FM, said in its appeal that there
had been no malicious intent in playing the song. The hit, it claimed,
is said to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œhave set a precedent for the post-apartheid generationsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢
struggle combining dance music with the new phenomenon of freedom of
The BCCSA ruled last year that the song amounted to
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œgrossly offensive languageÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â broadcast at a time when children were
likely to be part of the audience.
One of the BCCSA tribunal members, Tembeka Mdlulwa,
believed the song could offer an educational opportunity for parents.
She was, however, outvoted and the appeal was dismissed on Thursday.
Yesterday Mafokate, known as the former king of kwaito, said the song was still relevant.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think it was a fair judgment. I wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t
encourage radio stations not to play the song and if push comes to
shove I will pay the R10000 on their (5FMÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s) behalf.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The singer said the song had been used to re-launch 5FM when its name was changed.
DJ Fresh said he stood by his decision and would meet MafokateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s payment ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œhalfwayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
Click here to read the full report, posted on thetimes.co.za.