Farmers, concerned citizens unite to protest farm murders
Port Alfred community joins in #Black Monday
IT WAS a beautiful warm spring day on Monday morning when local residents joined citizens across the country to gather in peaceful protest over farm murders.
They also demanded more help from law enforcement to combat the scourge that has decimated families and placed the country’s food security in jeopardy.
The protest, known as #Black Monday, saw residents from in and around Port Alfred gather peacefully at the library lawns to show solidarity for the farmers and farm workers and pray for peace in the country.
Many wore black as was encouraged on social media to show solidarity with farmers and remember those who have been murdered in farm attacks.
“When you have a plate of food in front of you, you must thanks farmers. No farmers, no food, no future,” Bathurst Agricultural Society president Danny Wepener said. “The fact is that farmers, black and white, are being attacked and killed. It has nothing to do with race.”
Those gathered at the library lawns totalled over 100, and the protest was led by former farmer and leader in the Christian Men’s Association, Leon Coetzee, who said that the Bible, the Word of God, was the final arbiter and that God’s law must be followed if the country is to heal.
“We have man’s laws which we must obey. But when they are in conflict with God’s Laws, the Bible must take precedence,” said Coetzee, who was assisted by pastors Eldin Rudolph and Josh de Witt, who also offered up prayers for farmers and farm workers.
#Black Monday also drew a lot of comment on Facebook, with readers sharing photographs and videos of protests around the country, including blockades on the N1 and N3 and gatherings in other towns and cities. The cause was supported by ex-pats living in Dubai and the US, who also shared photos of their #Black Monday gatherings.
Others who were not able to attend the Port Alfred protest also expressed their support on Facebook, while some said they wished it had been promoted better as they did not know about it.
PRAYING FOR PEACE: More than 100 residents of Port Alfred attended the peaceful protest and prayer at the library lawns on Monday to raise concerns for the number of farm murders in the country. Among the many farmers present, there were also members of the general public who expressed their dismay and alarm at the number of farm murders that have occurred over the past years