| CAPE TOWN

Hundreds protest against farm murders

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Call for state to assist with security

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Hundreds of people, many on bikes, protested outside Parliament on Saturday morning against farm murders. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

Hundreds of bikers roared down Roeland Street in Cape Town on Saturday morning to protest against farm murders. They gathered outside Parliament in leather jackets and long boots carrying placards saying: “Stop farm killings” and “No farms, no food”. Some bikers performed “donuts” (spinning around on their bike wheels).

“The government is not doing anything about our farmers being murdered” said Debbie Els of the Stop Farm Murders Attacks Movement. She called the murders “terrorist attacks”. She said that the protest was taking place because they were “gatvol” and making a stance.

Reading out a memorandum to the crowd, Els said “Farm attacks and farm murders are blatantly being ignored”. She said that the ANC government is being “complicit”. “Without farmers we are facing hunger,” she said. Els said that farms are soft targets for crime because of their remote locations and that farms need to be protected and labelled a “national keypoint”.

Some of the demands include protection from the state and assistance with security equipment and training. “We need to ensure that we secure our bread basket,” she said.

No one came to accept the memorandum.

AfriForum estimates that there were 57 farm murders in 2019. Last year the group warned that the number of farm attacks in the Western Cape “increased extremely”.

Sihle Ngobese, who goes by the name of Big Daddy Liberty, called for all South Africans, regardless of race, to unite. “In this country, it is the politicians who try and divide us,” he said. Ngobese said that he was proud to see South Africans standing up for the farming community. “I love our flag. I love our family and I call for freedom!” he said. ”It is time for us to draw the line in the sand and say enough is enough.”

“People are killing the people that feed us,” said Vanessa Minnie. “We need to support our farmers and save their lives”. She said that the government needs to acknowledge that there is a problem and have forums in place to deal with the issues. “Farmers desperately need security,” she said.

A biker “burns rubber” during the protest.

Editor’s Note

What do the farm statistics show?

This note is taken from an article by Kobus Visser of AgriSA published in 2018 on Politicsweb

The definition of a farm attack according to the Rural Safety Strategy is “all violence against people living on farms and smallholdings, as well as persons who work there or visit the premises”.

“This includes crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and causing bodily harm. It also includes all violence aimed at destroying farm infrastructure and property with a view to disrupting legitimate farming activities. Against this background, farm attack statistics do not only include crimes against commercial farmers, but also smallholding owners involved in a farming activity, emerging farmers, farm workers, their family members and visitors.”

This graph shows farm attacks and murders from 1996/7 to 2017/18. Source SAPS via Politicsweb

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TOPICS:  Violence

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