South African President Insists Farm Murders ‘Are Not Ethnic Cleansing’

PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has insisted that farm murders are not “ethnic cleansing” after a grisly torture-murder in Free State led to ‘Boer Lives Matter’ protesters marching on a courthouse to get at the suspects.

“The claim that violent crime on farms is part of an orchestrated campaign by blacks to drive white farmers off their land is simply not borne out by fact,” claimed the president, who is himself pursuing a policy of land grabs — or “land expropriation without compensation” — against landowners.

“Killings on farms are not ethnic cleansing,” he insisted.

“They are not genocidal. They are acts of criminality and must be treated as such.”

Hundreds of white farmers bearing ‘Boer Lives Matter’ slogans marched on rural Senekal magistrates’ court as 32-year-old Sekwetje Mahlamba and 44-year-old Sekola Matlaletsa appeared to face charges for the murder of 21-year-old farm manager Brendin Horner.

Horner had been found strung up on a pole by his neck, having been beaten, stabbed repeatedly, and apparently tortured. Demonstrators demanded that Mahlamba and Matlaletsa be handed over to them, ultimately forcing their way into the courthouse and managing to come within a few feet of the suspects before being beaten back by police.

Outside the courthouse, protesters overturned a police van and set it on fire, having to be dispersed with stun grenades.

Farm murders in South Africa have also been highlighted in recent days by rising mixed martial arts star Dricus Du Plessis, a former KSW and EFC champion who used his victorious UFC debut to shed light on the issue.

“This is a great opportunity for me to step up and… talk about things, I mean, South Africa’s going through so much… we have farm murders that’s really taking the whole country by storm,” said the middleweight knockout artist.

“It’s something unbelievable, people are getting murdered daily… I feel because it’s Africa a lot of the world doesn’t see it, nobody in the world really knows what’s going on there, and I just want to shout out to South Africa, to my South African people, and say guys, folks, stay strong,” he said.

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