Thousands of mainly white, Afrikaans-speaking South Africans have taken to the streets to protest the ongoing epidemic of savage farm murders sweeping the country.
The October 30th #BlackMonday protests were organised after civil rights group AfriForum released figures claiming the murder rate for South African farmers was 156 per 100,000 — putting it well above the already high national average and making farming in the troubled ex-colony arguably the most dangerous occupation in the world outside a warzone.
At the same time, the number of slain farmers, farm workers, and family members — most of them white — had hit 71, surpassing the estimated death toll for 2016.
However, local news outlet Times Live reported another elderly farmer hacked to death on the day of the #BlackMonday protest itself, and another three farmers were killed the day after, increasing the AfriForum total as of October 31st to 74.
Definitive figures are not available, as the African National Congress (ANC) government ordered the authorities to stop releasing details about the ethnicity of murder victims in 2007.
— AfriForum (@afriforum) October 25, 2017
ANC politicians and other black leaders have been accused of encouraging attacks on rural whites — with thousands murdered from the 1990s onwards — and AfriForum believes they represent something more sinister than regular crime, given the brutality which often accompanies the killings.
“These are not any normal form of crime but an outright act of terror,” said spokesman Thomas van Dalen.
“Anyone who still describes this as [only] crime is committing himself to unnecessary bloodshed.”
The government’s official position is to condemn farm murders while insisting that they are merely ordinary crimes and not indicative of a wider pattern of persecution, and that tackling them should not be prioritised — lest this give the impression that farmers’ lives are more important than anyone else’s.
However, South African president Jacob Zuma has sung the anti-white revolutionary song ‘Kill the Farmer, Kill the Boer’ while in office, and ANC politicians have shouted “Bury them alive!” in the South African legislature during debates on the plight of white farmers.
— Jack Montgomery ن (@JackBMontgomery) October 21, 2017
Leading politician Julius Malema, who formerly headed the ANC’s youth wing and now leads his own Economic Freedom Fighters party — the third-largest in the country — has called for white farms to be confiscated, and told supporters: “People of South Africa, where you see a beautiful land, take it, it belongs to you!”
President Zuma, constantly mired in corruption scandals, has also begun calling for white farms to be confiscated without compensation, possibly to distract from his personal difficulties and possibly to head off the electoral threat which Malema’s EFF represents.
South Africa would not be the first African nation to go down this path, with white farmers being killed or forced to flee their farms in neighbouring Zimbabwe after mass land grabs initiated by Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old Marxist tyrant who has ruled the country with an iron fist since 1980.
“Yes, we have those who were killed when they resisted,” he boasted only a few months ago. “We will never prosecute those who killed them. I ask, why should we arrest them?”
Zimbabwe’s white farmers were not the only victims of this move, which resulted in agriculture collapsing in the country once regarded as the ‘Breadbasket of Africa’, an economic depression, ferocious hyperinflation, and its people starving and wracked with disease.