While the civil rights organisation AfriForum and hundreds of members of the public today observed a moment of silence at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria for all the victims of farm murders, the elderly Bokkie Potgieter (70) was murdered brutally on a farm in Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal.
The organisation today as part of #BlackMonday came together with thousands nationwide in memory of victims of farm murders in South Africa. Potgieter’s death brings the total amount of farm murders for 2017 to 72; more than the total number of farm murders committed in 2016.
“Today’s gatherings are only the beginning of a campaign that will ripple outward even further and will become a bigger campaign. AfriForum already at today’s gathering announced campaigns and safety plans in the fight against farm attacks and murders,” says Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO at AfriForum.
AfriForum will on 21 November hold an international day of protest against farm murders and on Saturday, 25 November a protest march will be held to the Union Building to deliver a memorandum to the president.
This march will be hosted in cooperation with the agricultural union TAU SA. AfriForum will also approach other organisations to become involved and urges farmers and their workers, as well as the public, to take part. Various celebrities already confirmed that they will take part in the march.
An international day of protest will take place in the preamble to the protest march and will consist of two actions. AfriForum’s local structures and safety networks will on 21 November hand over memoranda at more than 100 police stations across South Africa in which the prioritising of farm murders will be demanded. AfriForum’s Department for International Liaison is also organising that South Africans across the world on this day hand over memoranda at their embassies. A Fact Sheet, in which vital information around farm murders will be summarised, will also be distributed to international media and abroad on this day.
Roets further says that Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Police, makes it clear that he has no urge to combat farm murders with a focussed counter strategy. “Farmers are tortured to death on farms in unusual ratios, and the best that the minister can do is to warn that those who transgress the law while protesting against this, will be arrested.”
“Mbalula is an accessory to the crisis. The president also made it clear that he is more obsessed with his alleged right to sing songs in which farm murders are romanticised than to do something about the crisis. Therefore, we will address this crisis ourselves. Our protest actions are therefore not to convince the minister and the president that they must solve our problems, but to show the media and international society why we are doing it ourselves,” says Roets.
“We simply have no other alternative – the onslaught on our farmers is a form of terror. We need to mobilise within the framework of the law. Community structures are at the centre of a safe future. AfriForum already has more than 100 established safety structures across the country and the public is encouraged to become a part hereof. We however need every citizen’s cooperation and support in order to expand safety structures,” says Ian Cameron, Head of Safety at AfriForum.
- The public is invited to register on the website stopdiemoorde.co.za to confirm that they will be taking part in the protest march.
- South Africans abroad that want to take part in the international day of protest on 21 November, can contact AfriForum by sending an email to email@example.com.
- For more information about AfriForum’s safety structures, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.