Protest di­vides coun­try

CON­TRAST: WOR­THY CAUSE TO SOME WHILE OTH­ERS BEG TO DIF­FER In­sti­tute of Race Re­la­tions’ Dr Frans Cronje in­sists all is not lost.

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - Amanda Watson – aman­daw@cit­i­

Enough is enough – aka #Black­Mon­day – was never about stand­ing against some­thing; it was about stand­ing for hope, for peace, for­give­ness, and unity.

That’s ac­cord­ing to or­gan­is­ers Talita Bas­son and Daniel Bri­ers, who were speak­ing af­ter at­tend­ing the funeral of farmer Jou­bert Con­radie af­ter he was gunned down dur­ing an at­tack on his farm in Klap­muts in the Western Cape.

Yet, de­spite their plea go­ing out on Face­book, news of other at­tacks on farm­ers con­tin­ued to break.

Bokkie Pot­gi­eter, an el­derly farmer in the Vry­heid area, was hacked to death with a panga yes­ter­day, said AfriFo­rum’s Ian Cameron.

“The at­tacker was a known crim­i­nal and was ar­rested by the neigh­bour­ing farm’s labour­ers af­ter he drove into a pole,” Cameron said.

Pot­gi­eter’s mur­der only proved the point AfriFo­rum was try­ing to make, said Cameron.

On one hand then, a wor­thy cause to some.

On the other, it seemed every white South African who had ac­cess to an old South African flag chose yes­ter­day to wave it, which nat­u­rally raised tem­pers.

“To those who have been tar­get­ing white farm­ers, you are do­ing the Lord’s work for Africa. You are blessed,” said Zayks? (@NsikaXulu) on so­cial me­dia plat­form Twit­ter, re­flect­ing the opin­ion of many peo­ple.

Across the racial chasm, Stop white geno­cide @SAGeno­cide tweeted a pic­ture of a woman with what ap­peared to be deep cuts to her face and knuck­les.

“Woman stabbed over 9 times and cut try­ing to save her child from black sav­age bas­tards,” wrote @SAGeno­cide.

Yet, said the In­sti­tute of Race Re­la­tions’ (IRR) Dr Frans Cronje, all is not lost.

Re­fer­ring to the IRR’s “Rea­sons to hope 2017”, which came on the heels of a par­tic­u­larly vo­cal 2016 for racists (Penny Spar­row, Vicki Momberg and Vanessa Hart­ley), the re­port noted; “The views of the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of South Africans are very dif­fer­ent from the dam­ag­ing vit­riol to be found on so­cial me­dia and that of­ten seems to dom­i­nate the race de­bate.

“Con­trary to what many com­men­ta­tors claim, the 2016 sur­vey shows that some 72% of South Africans re­port no per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of racism in their daily lives. In ad­di­tion, more than half of re­spon­dents [55%] be­lieve race re­la­tions have im­proved since 1994, while a much smaller pro­por­tion [13%] think they have wors­ened,” the re­port by IRR head of pol­icy re­search Anthea Jef­fery stated.

Cameron said he hoped govern­ment would do some­thing but he wasn’t ex­pect­ing too much.

In­deed, po­lice min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula’s out­raged tweet to Demo­cratic Al­liance leader Mmusi Maimane over the old SA flag be­ing waved ap­peared to be a brave ef­fort at mis­di­rec­tion.

“…is this the #Black­Mon­day you’re in sup­port of?” Mbalula asked. “What is this ar­ro­gant dis­play of in­sen­si­tive and dis­re­gard of our past?”

Mbalula would do “well to fight mur­der and crime, rather than in­sult­ing me by sug­gest­ing I sup­port th­ese flags or that regime”, Maimane shot back.

He may be feel­ing the pres­sure, with his party tak­ing a stand against “all mur­ders” in­stead of com­ing out for its tra­di­tional voter base and with elec­tions in 2019, a wrong move could be costly.

With 19 016 peo­ple killed across South Africa in 2016-17, do 72 mur­dered farm­ers have a voice?

“The mur­der rate for av­er­age South Africans is 34 per 100 000. For a farmer, it’s 156 per 100 000,” Cameron said. “Let’s take the emo­tion out of it. “With­out farm­ers, we won’t have food.

“It’s as sim­ple as that.”

Mbalula would do well to fight mur­der and crime.

Pic­ture: Jac­ques Nelles

SYM­BOLIC. A lit­tle girl walks among crosses laid out to sym­bol­ise farm­ers that have been killed in South Africa in re­cent years. The dis­play was part of a prayer ser­vice held at the Voortrekker Mon­u­ment in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day.

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