Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
4 Feb 2019
10:18 am

WATCH: Dali Mpofu ‘sings’ national anthem without Die Stem

Daniel Friedman

The EFF chairperson's version of the anthem leaves out the Afrikaans section, the English section, and according to some Twitter users, the tune.

The EFF pray at the launch of their new manifesto in Soshanguve, Gauteng, February 2, 2019. Picture: Nigel Sibanda.

EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu led the party in singing the national anthem at the launch of their new manifesto at the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve, Gauteng, on Saturday.

The advocate and politician’s version of the anthem left out Die Stem, the Afrikaans section of the South African anthem adapted from the country’s anthem during apartheid, as well as the English section, concluding instead with Mayibuye iAfrica.

“Please can we all rise and sing Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika without Die Stem van Suid Afrika,” Mpofu said.

His singing Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika without the Afrikaans and English parts adopted in 1997 is not surprising, as both the party and its chairperson have made it clear that they do not recognise this part of the anthem before.

“How can any person happy to sing Die Stem van Suid Afrika post-1994 pretend to be offended when apartheid apologists display the old flag?” he tweeted in October 2017.

He added, when asked by a Twitter user if he has never sung the official version of the anthem before, that he has “never and will never” sing what he describes as a “racist” song “celebrating white supremacy”, as doing so would, in his view, be “sick”.

Despite his earlier pronouncements on Die Stem, Mpofu’s decision to adapt the anthem divided social media, with some offended and others supportive of the decision.


Some were less bothered by his exclusion of Die Stem then they were with what they felt was a sub-standard version of the anthem, with one user calling his version “the worst” since “Ras Dumisani” – a reference to a reggae singer who made headlines in 2009 for botching the anthem before a rugby match between South Africa and France.


One lone Twitter user accused the EFF of having stolen Mayibuye iAfrica, the song Mpofu chose to end the anthem with, from the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), in a tweet also listing things the user believes the party has “stolen” from the ANC.

At its manifesto launch, the EFF singled out its long-established seven pillars that it said would drive its 2019 elections campaign. These were:

  • Expropriation of land without compensation.
  • Nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy.
  • Building state and government capacity, leading to the abolishment of tenders.
  • Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
  • Protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of a minimum wage to close the gap between the rich and the poor.
  • Development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice on the entire continent.
  • Open, accountable, corrupt-free government, and a society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.

(Additional reporting by Brian Sokutu)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.