Ramaphosa should speak up on farm attacks - Afrikanerbond

Organisation also says economy is tasting bitter fruit of policy frameworks which clash with international realities


The following letter by the chairman of the Afrikanerbond, Mr Dries Wiese, was sent to President Ramaphosa on 1 July 2020. The presidency has already acknowledged receipt of the letter

In the letter, the following matters are raised:

- The President and government's continued silence on farm murders

- The outdated ideology which includes black economic empowerment, which the government is still applying and which is paralyzing the economy. Serious concerns are raised about Radical economic transformation as envisaged after Covid-19.

- A call on the president to act in the interests of all South Africans

Statement issued by Jan Bosman, Chief secretary of the Afrikanerbond, 4 July 2020

Text of the letter:



The President, Mr Ramaphosa

THE DENIAL OF REALITIES – Our request for an open and frank discussion

In recent times you have repeatedly been quoted about Radical Economic Transformation, and you responded adamantly in Parliament about Black Economic Empowerment and Affirmative Action, and once again you invariably blamed apartheid for the current economic mess.  Matters such as these have compelled us to address this letter to you and to question the wisdom of these viewpoints.       

We want to remind you that you became President in February 2018, after more than a decade of mismanagement, the destruction of state entities, xenophobic violence, large-scale corruption and state capture. These realities have had an enormously detrimental impact on our economy, on our country, and on its people. We therefore need to share our concern with you. 

Rural safety

Your voice need to be heard on farm attacks and the devastating effect they have on the rural economy, and could have on the future of food security?  In recent weeks we have been confronted virtually daily with reports of farm attacks and murders. The brutality of these attacks and murders are a reality for all of us. 

These attacks can no longer be regarded as merely a crime. Some of the acts and particularly the brutality associated with the attacks, can be classified as terror in terms of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities, Act 33 of 2004. It is time that your government acknowledge the gravity of the attacks and murders on farms!   

Solutions offered and proposals made

Various communities have committed themselves to pursuing the future success of South Africa. Over many years in the new dispensation, constructive proposals spanning numerous sectors and including agriculture, education, the economy and many more have been presented to the government. The governing party preferred not to bother with well-intentioned proposals and instead to continue following the route of an obsolete ideology. Today our economy is tasting the bitter fruit of policy frameworks which clash with international realities.

An ideology that demolishes but does not build

Minister Tito Mboweni’s emergency budget reflects the crisis that the ANC has plunged the country into. This is why it remains astounding that the ANC continues to justify the government’s destructive policies of black economic empowerment, affirmative action and land reform, and then pretend that these polices are aimed at making the “economy and land ownership more inclusive so that the majority of black South Africans can benefit from it too”.  This is totally devoid of truth because it is precisely the racial policy and its enforcement, state capture, and large-scale corruption that began stripping black South Africans of their human dignity and plunged them into greater misery and poverty.

It is incredibly naïve to use Covid-19 to implement Radical Economic Transformation. The ideological goals of RET will plunge the country into an irreversible catastrophe. There are innumerable international examples of such disasters. On a large scale government will alienate, the sorely needed and willing foreign international assistance if you strangle our economy with ideological bungling.

Discord in government

Your task as President is to adhere to your oath of office and in doing so you must have the interests of all South Africans at heart. You need to provide leadership in a country with a serious lack of integrity at all levels of government. South Africa require mutual trust, respect for one another’s viewpoints and above all, the will to accommodate each other in an attempt to identify and address the problems and challenges of the times. Our impression, however, is that we have become more polarised, more divided and even weaker than we were, before your presidency.

We were ourselves under the strong impression that you would be the man who would acknowledge, respect and promote the talents and skills of all South Africans. For this reason we have already made numerous requests for discussions in the hope that different insights into constitutional issues would help to resolve issues such as language, education, crime, land, agriculture and many more for South Africa’s benefit. You issued an invitation to the  Afrikanerbond, pertinently during our centenary celebrations. We followed up these requests for constructive discussions, but your office ignored all our requests.

The future after Covid-19

The road to recovery is indeed a tremendously comprehensive and weighty task. In the time when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out we, like so many others, thought that your initial handling was correct. We still believe this to be the case. You have, however, surrounded yourself with people who do not in the least understand their line function, disaster management, or communication with people at a time of great uncertainty. In spite of many warnings about the strict lockdown measures and the effect on our economy government still persists.

Your Presidency of hope

In the Oath of Office which you swore to on Saturday 25 May 2019, you solemnly pledged your allegiance to the Republic of South Africa, and affirmed among other things that you would protect and promote the rights of all South Africans; and justice for all; as well as that you would devote yourself to the wellbeing of the Republic and all its people. After the inauguration, your speech included statements such as: 

This new government draw comfort from the knowledge that that which unites us is far, far more powerful and enduring than that which divides us and then you stressed the important part which has to define your presidency: “Let us – as we embark on this new era – mobilise our every resource and summon our every capability to realise the vision of our founding mothers and fathers. Let us forge a compact – not merely as business and labour, not as those who govern and those who are governed – but as citizens and patriots of this great nation, free and equal and resolute. Let us forge a compact for growth and economic opportunity, for productive lands and viable communities, for knowledge, for innovation, and for services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable. Let us forge a compact for an efficient, capable and ethical state.”

It is now more than a year later and we would like to remind you of the words that at first instilled great hope. What you solemnly promised has not yet materialised. You speak of freedom and opportunities, you speak of an ethical State, but we have not seen any sign of it yet. We wrote to you after your inauguration in May 2019, saying: 

“Many younger generations of the white, brown and Indian population are being prevented from becoming part of this vision because they are restrained by affirmative action, black economic empowerment and the enforcement of quotas.” 

Then we added: 

“Your vision will only materialise provided that the government and the governing party waive the discriminatory measures.” We had already said at that time: “We know there are many knowledgeable South Africans who share your vision and stand ready to serve. It rests on you after 25 years to level the playing field so that they can contribute to this country.” 

Like all our other letters, this one was ignored too. 

Do not deny the realities of South Africa

A new understanding is required of the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution, which states: That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity We cannot make any progress in  uniting South Africa, if we do not at the same time acknowledge, celebrate, promote and respect diversity. We cannot make any progress if the governing party ignores reality, interpret history unilaterally and continues to divide the people of this country. 

This letter is written to you in terms of our Creed, which directs us to protect and promote the essence of a truly democratic political system BUT also to combat with tenacity any undemocratic aspects and tendencies that may arise; and that we will “do everything within our ability to promote justness, fairness and the highest ethical and moral values in South Africa.

In view of the above, but in the spirit of constructive co-operation, we wish to appeal seriously to you once again: to focus your conduct and your statements on the interests of all South Africans, to listen to all well-intentioned advice and proposals in the national interest, including those from leaders of the opposition; and to be willing to reconsider the proposals that have been made over many years.

If you are serious about your oath of office and willing to consider sensible proposals, also with regards to the implementation of the 2012 National Development Plan, we undertake to support this and would also like to meet you for open and frank discussions, to exchange thoughts about these and so many other important issues and ideals.

We look forward to your response.

Dries Wiese


01 July 2020  

READ THE ONLINE COPY OF THE LETTER    (Click to follow) )