BIKERS ON TOUR AROUND COUNTRY TO HIGHLIGHT FARM MURDERS
A GROUP of about 20 Christian bikers travelling around South Africa to bring attention to the scourge of farm murders will be arriving in Alexandria on Sunday.
Pastor TJ Maré, from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, said the group started their journey around South Africa in his province with their first trip from June 9-11 last year, from which they got their name, the 911 Ride.
Since then, they have travelled through Limpopo, North West and the Free State, visiting police stations to deliver letters of appreciation to the SAPS, meet with community members and farmers unions and raise awareness about farm murders.
The group started their current trip in the Northern Cape on April 2 and were headed to the Western Cape on Wednesday and will enter the Eastern Cape by the weekend.
“We plan to visit 250 police stations on this trip and will have travelled 5200km,” Maré said.
“After the Eastern Cape, we will end in KwaZulu-Natal.”
They have met with station commanders and even provincial commissioners when possible to deliver their letters of appreciation and express their desire for safe communities.
They intend to collect signatures from each provincial commissioner, to present along with a letter to the national commissioner at the end of the trip.
“We have managed to meet with all provincial commissioners, except in the Free State, where the provincial commissioner said he wouldn’t meet with us and accept our letter. It was heart-breaking,” Maré said.
“But the converse was true in the Northern Cape, where the provincial commissioner was actually travelling with us. He had a police escort riding with us through the province.”
He said the core group was 18 riders, but they had been joined by more riders in each province for the duration of their time in that province, and by the end of the trip, about 150 riders would have taken part.
Maré, whose parents live in Cannon Rocks, said the group had a special motivation to visit Alexandria due to the brutal murder of Riaan Scheepers in November last year.
The starting point for the local leg of the trip is at Nanaga farm stall at 2pm on Sunday, from where they will ride together to the NGK Church in Alexandria.
Any local bikers who want to take part can contact Owen Smith on 083-652-4536 or Flip Maré on 082-555-5668. It is not a political ride, so no flags will be allowed.
“We aim to finish this advocacy ride within a year from when we first started. We aim to stop on the weekend of June 8 to 10,” Maré said.
“We have managed to meet with all provincial commissioners except in the Free State, where the provincial commissioner said he wouldn’t meet with us and accept our letter. It was heart-breaking”
MAN ON A MISSION: Pastor TJ Maré is leading a group of Christian bikers travelling through the country to highlight the high rate of farm murders. They will be in Alexandria on Sunday