Government must accept responsibility for unbridled violent crime
Boiling point. These are the only words with which the political climate in South Africa can be described this afternoon, after the umpteenth barbaric murder in the country. The focus of this media conference however not just is the murder of Mr Eugene Terre'Blanche. However tragic his murder may be, the problem is much larger than the despicable murder of a well-known politician. This conference also focuses on the levels of violent crime in the country, which are higher than in many war zones, and of which his murder is but the latest example.
South Africans have had enough of violence and of extremists who urge on a climate of violence with inflammatory statements and songs. The murder of Mr Terre'Blanche, someone from whom we politically differed vastly, is further proof that strong leadership by the President of South Africa is urgently required. Mr Zuma should distance himself and his party unequivocally from the inciting songs calling for white Afrikaans farmers by name to be killed.
This murder is yet another sign of the potentially deadly results of the ANC's support for its youth leader's provocative songs which targets Afrikaners in particular, but white farmers in general for violent annihilation. Although the statistics re the number of farm murders vary, agricultural unions state that more than 2 000 and up to 3 000 people have been murdered on their farms since 1994. This is much higher than the average in the country and incomparably higher that the approximately 12 murders of white farmers in Zimbabwe. The disbanding of the commando system and mismanagement of the SAPS under the Mbeki administration is one of the main reasons for this tragedy which poses a great threat to food security in the whole region.
We welcome Mr Zuma's strong and unambiguous condemnation of the murder of Mr Terre'Blanche, but would like to point out that Mr Zuma and the ANC's continued support for the song is in direct contradiction of this condemnation. It is hypocritical on the one hand to sing and dance joyfully on the one hand to the lyrics and tune of a song promoting racial genocide, while on the other hand condemning the murders resulting from the climate created in this manner. We want to make it clear that the ANC and government leaders' support for Mr Malema's hate speech creates a climate within which the murders of whites are politically condoned.
It is amazing that moderate and law-abiding organisations like AfriForum and Solidarity have been called "enemies of the National Democratic Revolution" by the ANC this weekend. This because after numerous efforts from our side to encourage Mr Malema to abandon his undemocratic statements, we were left with no other option than to approach the court for an interdict against him. The ANC has to decide for once and for all whether South Africa is a constitutional democracy or a revolutionary state.
AfriForum and Solidarity is no-one's enemy, but a friend of the rule of law and the underlying values of the constitution, including human rights, toleration and the recognition of human dignity. We also are a friend of values including the right to life, peace, racial harmony and the maintenance of law and order. We cannot understand or condone the anger of the ANC, when we are merely defending our constitutional and democratic rights and interests in legal ways.
Therefore we reject the accusations - made in archaic communist terms - that AfriForum and Solidariteit are enemies of the revolution because we allegedly are opposed to transformation. We are for constitutional values, but against nationalisation, and that is our constitutional right. Mr Malema's defiant visit to Zimbabwe, and the ANC's silence re the visit to this failed state which has been governed into the ground, causes grave concern amongst all in South Africa who feel strongly about the interests of our country. His visit and his statements form an important test for the ANC's commitment to the constitution. If the ANC condones his defiance and spurning of court orders, it amounts to the fact that they do not respect the rule of law, but undermine it or allow it to be undermined. The ANC has to realise that the struggle had already come to an end in 1994. They now are the rulers of the most modern state and the most sophisticated economy in Africa, which should be ruled with wisdom and judiciousness. Africa cannot afford another failure.
Plan of action:
Following these events, we announce our plan of action in brief:
1. We are meeting with the Minister of Police on Wednesday, and during this meeting we will discuss the current polarisation and tension in the community with him, in order to prevent it from erupting. We also want to discuss a community safety programme, as well as the problems we experience with the implementation of SAPS' crime prevention action plan. We will also discuss the moratorium on the appointment of reservists, as well as safety during the Soccer World Cup Tournament.
2. We are considering applying for an Article 77 with Nedlac, in order to have all workers protected for a national day of protest against crime in the country. On this day, we intend to compile national safety plan at a conference on crime.
3. We will investigate forms of legal civil activism to protest against the lawlessness prevalent in the country. Such activism may include negotiating with the authorities for better safety in return for our tax money.
4. We will approach the Equality Court this week for an urgent court date for the hate speech case brought by us against Mr Malema and the ANC.
5. We will ask the UN's Genocide Watch to monitor murder, violence and crime in South Africa preventatively, to ensure that levels of such incidents do not escalate even further.
6. We will ask the ANC for a meeting to discuss their support of hate speech against us, and their description of us as "enemies of the revolution", which in our opinion is inflaming the climate of racial polarisation even further.
7. AfriForum Youth will hold a Youth Conference on 16 June 2010 about hate speech and violence against the youth, and ways in which mutual respect and recognition can be promoted.
8. We will also get a legal opinion to ascertain whether Mr Malema's statements in Zimbabwe amount to contempt of the court.
Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter