NEWS & ANALYSIS

Call for commission of inquiry into the causes of farm attacks – AfriForum

ANC govt accused of being complicit in crisis in Ernst Roets' new book "Kill the Boer"

AfriForum calls for commission of inquiry into the causes of farm attacks 

28 June 2018

The civil rights organisation today asked that an independent commission of inquiry be compiled to determine what the factors are that lead to farm murders. This announcement was made in Centurion during the media launch of the book Kill the Boer by Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum.

During the launch Roets played a recording in which a member of the 28 prison gang alleges that Julius Malema, EFF leader, went to see them in jail to talk about farm murders. Roets also told of his own experience when a convicted farm murderer told him that he was a member of the ANC’s military wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe, and that the ANC gave him an order to murder a farmer. Roets says that these allegations must be viewed in a serious light and that it must be thoroughly investigated. The recording in which the allegations are made about Malema was already broadcasted on the actuality programme Carte Blanche in March 2017. At the time the EFF said that Malema did not have time to comment thereon. The issue was also not investigated further.

In the book Kill the Boer it is argued that the South African government is complicit in the crisis of farm murders. Ten reasons are supplied for this allegation. Various incidents of political incitement to farm murders, as well as farm murders where political or racial motives clearly played a role, is stated in the book.

Roets explains that AfriForum does not claim that all farm murders are politically motivated, but that the organisation is in fact gravely concerned that the political element is currently underplayed. “Our analysis of five incidents of hate speech from high political leaders against farmers indicated that farm murders in the months following on these incidents increased with an average of 74,8%.”

Kill the Boer is a book about the brutal reality of farm attacks in South Africa and the South African government’s complicity in the crisis. This complicity could be attributed to a variety of reasons, including its deprioritising of the crisis despite the worsening thereof; negative stereotyping of white famers in particular; romanticising of violence inflicted upon farmers; continuation of hatred from political platforms; as well as the scorning and ridiculing of the victims of these attacks.

The book reveals accounts of the direct involvement of members of the ruling ANC, the South African government and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in particular in the planning and execution of these attacks. It is argued that a looming process of ethnic cleansing should be regarded as a serious threat and something to be prevented. The complicity of the South African media is also indicated by analyses of news reports that clearly indicate biased reporting, leading to vilification and negative stereotyping of white farmers in particular.

A variety of reasons why farm attacks are unique and deserve to be treated as a priority crime are outlined. These include the unique frequency with which these attacks take place, the horrific levels of torture that often accompany these crimes, the role that farmers should play in society and the unique circumstances in which farmers find themselves.

The book will be launched to the public on Saturday 30 June 2018 and will be available in bookshops soon.

Issued by Marelie Greeff, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 28 June 2018