Farm­ers’ strike de­lays ma­tric ex­ams

Thou­sands take anger to free­ways

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Nom­ahlubi Jor­daan

Pupils write hours later af­ter ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment’s scram­ble to avert a cri­sis

Thou­sands of peo­ple across the coun­try took to the streets yes­ter­day to take part in what civic group AfriFo­rum de­scribed as the big­gest protest ever against farm mur­ders.

The protest‚ dubbed #Black­Mon­day‚ was ini­tially sparked by a video by Chris Loub­ser‚ a farm man­ager from Fran­schhoek‚ whose friend had been killed.

Since Jan­uary‚ at least 341 farm at­tacks have been car­ried out in which 70 peo­ple have been mur­dered‚ ac­cord­ing to AfriFo­rum.

In Mid­vaal‚ traf­fic was backed up on the R59, while near Pre­to­ria the N1 South was blocked to­wards Lyn­nwood Road. Traf­fic SA re­ported a stand­still on the N4 Bak­wena High­way.

Po­lice spokesman Fik­ile Funda said more than 1000 peo­ple took part in the protest on the R59 in Sed­ibeng.

“There were also about 1 500 cars that block­aded roads‚” he said, adding that the protest had been peace­ful.

Mid­vaal mayor Bon­gani Baloyi said farm mur­ders were an is­sue across the coun­try‚ not just in Mid­vaal.

“It’s im­por­tant that we sup­port our farm­ers and that law en­force­ment [agen­cies] do their job,” he said.

Baloyi re­ceived a mem­o­ran­dum from protest­ing farm­ers.

Mean­while‚ more than a 1000 peo­ple, dressed in black T-shirts, gath­ered out­side Kanonkop wine es­tate near Stel­len­bosch to show sup­port for the vic­tims of farm mur­ders.

The re­cent mur­der of Stel­len­bosch wine farmer Jou­bert Con­radie sent shock waves through the farm­ing com­mu­nity.

“We want gov­ern­ment to take note of the scale of farm­ers be­ing mur­dered and take ac­tion‚” said Os­car Papen­dorf, also dressed in a black T-shirt with the slo­gan “Staan op teen plaas­mo­orde” (stand up against farm mur­ders).

“We hope to­day’s mass ac­tion will show the frus­tra­tion and anger we have to­wards the killing of our farm­ers.”

AfriFo­rum chief ex­ec­u­tive Kal­lie Kriel said: “We are very happy with the at­ten­dance. The protest was about send­ing a strong mes­sage that peo­ple are tired of farm mur­ders.”

Kriel said AfriFo­rum would or­gan­ise another protest at the Union Build­ings in Pre­to­ria on Novem­ber 25.

“This was just the be­gin­ning. We are go­ing ahead with more protests. What we need is for com­mu­nity safety ini­tia­tives to be strength­ened‚” Kriel said. –

/ ER24

Three peo­ple were in­jured in an ac­ci­dent dur­ing the #Black­Mon­day protest on the N4 near Mid­del­burg in Mpumalanga. Farm­ing ac­tivists took to the streets to protest against farm mur­ders

/ RUVAN BOSHOFF

A pro­tester at Green­point Sta­dium.

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