Financial Mail - - EDITORIALS -

alk about shoot­ing your­self in the foot. This week, Afrikaans lobby group Afrifo­rum held a “Black Mon­day” protest to draw at­ten­tion to the wor­ry­ing es­ca­la­tion in farm mur­ders.

But it left many won­der­ing if it was a march against crime, or a march against black South Africans. This is be­cause some “pro­test­ers” joined in bear­ing the old apartheid-era SA flag.

Afrifo­rum dis­tanced it­self from them, say­ing they’d asked mem­bers to wear black and keep the pro­tect “apo­lit­i­cal”.

But it was a limp re­sponse.

Rather than draw at­ten­tion to crime, the protest will have con­firmed the sus­pi­cions of many who be­lieve the agri­cul­tural sec­tor hasn’t changed since 1994. It fo­cused at­ten­tion on the ves­tiges of deepseated racism among some (but not all) white farm­ers.

The old SA flag is a sym­bol of white supremacy, akin to the Nazi swastika. It speaks of a yearn­ing for a bru­tal past that has no place in modern SA. It left a sour taste for those who would other­wise have fo­cused on the 341 farm at­tacks this year, in which 70 peo­ple were mur­dered.

Afrifo­rum should have done more to en­sure those dyed-in-the-wool racists weren’t linked to their mes­sage. No­body wants to help those who still be­lieve in the val­ues epit­o­mised by the apartheid flag. And there’s no place for those flag­bear­ers in our so­ci­ety any­way.


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