Pro­test­ers take to roads to highlight farm at­tacks

Sup­port­ers all over SA join #Black­Mon­day mo­tor­cades

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Devon Koen koend@ti­soblack­star.co.za

AL­MOST 400 hun­dred Bay farm­ers, their fam­i­lies and sup­port­ers donned black cloth­ing and took part in a mo­tor­cade as part of the na­tional #Black­Mon­day demon­stra­tions in­tended to cre­ate aware­ness about the in­creas­ing scourge of farm mur­ders and at­tacks across the coun­try.

Some 163 ve­hi­cles left Cows Cor­ner in Colleen Glen just be­fore 1pm yes­ter­day, with some oc­cu­pants wav­ing black flags from their cars while oth­ers had black crosses drawn on the side of their ve­hi­cles.

The mo­tor­cade made its way along the N2 high­way to the John Tal­lant in­ter­sec­tion be­fore turn­ing around and head­ing back.

In Cape Town, a large con­voy of bakkies, trac­tors, horse-drawn carts and farm trucks moved from Kanonkop to the Green­point sta­dium near the city’s CBD.

It was re­ported that some de­mon­stra­tors had the old South African flag em­bla­zoned on their black clothes.

A smallscale veg­etable farmer from KwaZulu-Na­tal, Bokkie Pot­gi­eter, be­lieved to be in his 70s, was found hacked to death in his bakkie near Vry­heid yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Pot­gi­eter’s al­leged killer was killed by neigh­bour­ing farm work­ers.

Also in KwaZulu-Na­tal, farm­ers wear­ing black from the Bergville‚ Est­court‚ Himeville‚ Colenso and Lady­smith ar­eas‚ drove in con­voy along the R74 and onto the N3.

In Gaut­eng, hun­dreds of mo­torists were left frus­trated as farm­ers bar­ri­caded the R82 with trucks and trac­tors just af­ter 9am.

The road was only cleared by 10.50am. Mid­vaal traf­fic was backed up on the R59 and the N1 South near Pre­to­ria was blocked to­ward Lyn­wood Road.

Three peo­ple were in­jured in a 13-ve­hi­cle col­li­sion in Mpumalanga when a truck ploughed into ve­hi­cles block­ing the N4 high­way.

Closer to home, the mo­tor­cade or­gan­ised by Far­mCom Neigh­bour­hood Watch chair­man Wil­lie Bosch went ahead without a hitch, with ad­di­tional mo­torists join­ing the con­voy as it made its way along the high­way.

“We are do­ing this be­cause we are a farm­ing com­mu­nity and in the past [we have] ex­pe­ri­enced mur­ders as well.

“This is not a po­lit­i­cal [demon­stra­tion], it is for all farm­ers of all races and farm work­ers,” Bosch said.

Sup­porter Otto van Rooyen said: “We are all gath­ered here to pledge al­le­giance with all farm­ers and their fam­i­lies and to in­form the world of what is hap­pen­ing here in [South Africa].”

Elands River Val­ley bee keeper Patsy Kruger, 49, said: “I am dressed in black not be­cause I am a Satanist or be­cause of Hal­loween, but to show my sup­port with farm­ers around the coun­try.

“Farm mur­ders are not only stop­ping peo­ple from pro­duc­ing food but also pre­vent­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties for oth­ers.”

Thi­nus Swanepoel, 48, of Lor­raine, said he took part in the mo­tor­cade to show sup­port for his farmer friends.

“We need to stop farm killings and stand to­gether.

“For us, why kill farm­ers if they are the ones pro­duc­ing food for the coun­try?” he said.

Juan Roesstorff, 33, who has been farm­ing cat­tle in the St Al­bans and Rock­lands ar­eas since 2004, said: “We need to cre­ate aware­ness of farm mur­ders and at­tacks.

“It is very im­por­tant for us to come to­gether. [Hope­fully] things can only get bet­ter from here.”

Fur­ther along the N2, about 600 peo­ple gath­ered for a prayer ser­vice near Hu­mans­dorp.

In Port Al­fred, a 40-minute prayer meet­ing was held at 10am out­side the li­brary.

Po­lice spokes­woman Cap­tain Mali Goven­der said a group of about 50 peo­ple, dressed mostly in black cloth­ing, gath­ered on the lawn and no dis­rup­tions oc­curred.

Cradock po­lice spokes­woman Cap­tain Lar­i­ane Jonker said about 300 peo­ple at­tended a peace­ful demon­stra­tion in the town.

Afrifo­rum chief ex­ec­u­tive Kal­lie Kriel said the na­tional protest was the big­gest they had ever seen against farm at­tacks.

They would or­gan­ise an­other protest at the Union Build­ings in Pre­to­ria on Novem­ber 25, he said.

Afrifo­rum says 70 peo­ple have been killed in 341 farm at­tacks since Jan­uary last year. – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Yoliswa Sobuwa, TimesLIVE, Graeme Hosken, Gareth Wil­son and Nom­ahlubi Jor­daan.

Pic­tures: EU­GENE COETZEE

CRE­AT­ING AWARE­NESS: Mo­torists take part in yes­ter­day’s protest con­voy on the N2 high­way near Port El­iz­a­beth

MAK­ING A POINT: This pro­tester’s mes­sage is clear

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