Farm attacks: President must condemn it publicly and farmers must fight fire with fire
1 July 2020
The extreme wave of farm attacks and murders on farmers that has recently swept through South Africa should surely compel the President of the country to acknowledge it and condemn it. It should also compel the agricultural community to ready themselves to fight fire with fire, within the constraints of the law.
The extent and brutality of farm murders and the President's silence on the matter as well as the lack of support from the government's side create the impression that the ANC's land expropriation programme has muzzled the President.
It appears as if the President cannot dare to ask that farmers must be protected against crime because then he will also have to ask that farmers' property must be protected and that contradicts the policy of land expropriation without compensation.
The fact that 31 farm attacks and four farm murders took place in just ten days is surely enough proof that this is not some ordinary crime, but that it is organised crime which requires urgent attention.
When a President highlights only certain exceptional cases, like the death of George Floyd in America, but makes no mention of other atrocities, like brutal farm murders in his own country, he is in effect shirking his responsibility towards the citizens in his own country.
Everyone knows that in America, President Ramaphosa initially denied that white farmers are being murdered in South Africa and that he only later admitted that these murders are indeed taking place when the FF Plus put pressure on him in Parliament during question time in November 2018.
That was a year and a half ago. How many more motions against farm attacks must be tabled in Parliament, how many more debates must be held, and how many more marches must take place to show support for the farmers in South Africa before the President and his government acknowledge the evil of farm murders?
The unfortunate truth is that farmers cannot rely on the current government. Agricultural organisations and communities have implemented safety and security systems to try and protect farmers. Thanks to these systems, less farmers were killed and the 31 attacks compared to the four killings serve as proof of this.
Farm attacks will increase and the agricultural community must prepare to answer fire with fire, within the constraints of the law. Everyone has the constitutional right to defend him- or herself when their safety and / or life is endangered.
The FF Plus will continue to put political pressure on the President and government to address the matter.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 1 July 2020