DA's criticism of Thandi Modise screams of obscene hypocrisy and racism - ANC

Office of the Chief Whip says opposition has maintained a deafening silence over killings of black people on farms


8 July 2014

The Office of the African National Congress in Parliament has taken note of the on-going media reports relating to the situation at the farm of the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, comrade Thandi Modise. We have observed that this unfortunate situation has now been politicised, with our detractors opportunistically using it to attack the ANC and discredit its policies on land reform.

We have been briefed by the NCOP Chairperson regarding the matter and we share her feelings that the situation is unfortunate and indeed should not have happened. We are satisfied that she is taking the necessary measures to correct the situation and to ensure it is avoided in future. The interventions include urgently appointing additional people to beef up staff at the farm and working with the SPCA to swiftly address the environmental concerns affecting the livestock.

We are appalled by attempts by formations such as the DA to opportunistically use this incident to discredit the land reform programme and to project black farming as inherently a failure. This view not only seeks to undermine the important and urgent national programme of correcting the gross injustices of 1913 but also smacks of racist undertones.

We are certain that even the established farmers we have today have made mistakes in the past which may have put the health of their livestock, the productivity of their farms and their profits at great risk. Such mistakes were never made the subject of similar media spectacle and political posturing. Any hurt directed at animals can never be justified.

However, for the DA to wage a campaign of this nature while it had previously maintained a deafening silence when acts of brutality were committed against human beings at farms, such as abuse of farmworkers and killings of Black people apparently mistaken for baboons, screams of obscene hypocrisy and racism.

Our resolve to speed up land redistribution process, rural development and food security in line with our commitment on the manifesto will not be deterred.

Statement issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, July 8 2014

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