‘Die Stem’ sung at Flemish festival causes concern from South Africans

‘Die Stem’ sung at Flemish festival causes concern from South Africans

South Africans had strong reactions to Die Stem - the apartheid-era anthem - being played at an event in Belgium. A video of the event was shared by AfriForum.

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Belgium was celebrating its 82nd Flemish National Zangfeest and the event was attended by thousands of Flemish people and right-wing Flemish politicians, including the mayor of Antwerp, Briefly.co.za found.

Die Stem has a history in the Zangfeest and has been played at the festival since 1939. The chairperson of the folk song movement, Algemeen Nederlands Zangverbond, asserted that the song is part of their tradition and celebration of its cultural ties with South Africa, reported IOL.

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The event was private and the Flemish government had no control over the event’s proceedings.

They insisted the song was not sung for any political reasons, merely for its closeness to their language.

READ ALSO: 59 years later, SA remembers the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960

Luzuko Koti, the spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said that they regularly receive many reports of apartheid-era symbols being used. He added that they will refrain from intervening at this time, as they must be careful moving forward.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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