#BlackMonday farm killing
AS THOUSANDS of people marched across the country to highlight the scourge of farm attacks, another farmer was hacked to death and stuffed in his bakkie in Vryheid.
Bokkie Potgieter, a vegetable farmer in northern KwaZulu-Natal, was found dead in his bakkie and his alleged attacker was killed by workers on the neighbouring farm after he crashed the stolen bakkie.
Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala said a 73-year-old man was busy building a chicken kraal in the KwaDikadika area, when he was attacked with a bush knife and his body was dragged to his Ford Bantam bakkie.
Gwala said the victim’s vehicle crashed into an electricity pole and community members saw the bakkie and went to investigate.
The latest farm killing coincided with the Black Monday march.
Matric pupils were also caught up in the morning highway traffic jam and arrived late for their exams in Gauteng while some in other provinces missed the 9am mathematics paper 2 exam altogether.
The protest‚ #BlackMonday‚ was derived from a video by Chris Loubser‚ a farm manager from Franschhoek‚ whose friend was one of the 70 farmers killed since January as reported by AfriForum. While some organisations called for #BlackMonday to be a stand against all crime in the country, the protests yesterday were largely against farm murders.
A number of mostly white farmers used their cars to block the R59 highway in Vereeniging, causing a massive traffic backlog. It was this congestion that had pupils writing matric exams fearing the consequences of missing their paper. A similar march took place in Cape Town, and there were also smaller protests in towns in KwaZulu-Natal.
Some of the affected pupils and parents took to social media to voice their frustrations.
@KingNtokozo tweeted: “I have a question? Can you take the organisers of #BlackMonday to court if you missed an exam?” Pree Kat Mathevundla wrote: “Some people are selfish, they didn’t think about the future our matriculants; what will happen to those who applied for universities next year?”
The Department of Education also expressed concern at the inconvenience caused to pupils.
“It is regrettable that they had to write this important paper under these conditions,” said Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
He said pupils who arrived late for their examinations were allowed into examination rooms, even those who exceeded the one-hour cut-off time, and administrative prescripts would be invoked for all those who might have missed today’s paper.
Some social media users were angered by the display of old South African flags by some protesters.
@Keith_AM wrote: “South Africa has about 19 000 murders a year. This year, 71 farmers have been murdered. Why not simply march against all murders #BlackMonday.”
EFF Leader Julius Malema also took a swipe at the mayhem caused by the highway blockade.
“White farmers are blocking the roads illegal (sic) and police are not shooting rubber bullets, but if it was African youth, yoh!!!,” tweeted Malema. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula agreed with Malema regarding police inaction.
“Lawlessness from any quarter is unacceptable and should be condemned. In this instance you might be right, police lowered the guard,” he wrote.
Farmers presented their memorandum of grievances to Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi.
It read, in part: “Stop the killing of our farmers, stop all hate crimes done against white people, stop white genocide, help us white people to feel safe in South Africa and bring more police to our neighbourhoods and farms to patrol and be on the lookout for crime.”
The farmers’ memorandum also said: “If we don’t receive a reply from you in seven days, then we will be forced to come back again, only this time we will come back for six days.
“If we don’t get a reply that you did deliver this letter to Parliament in 14 days, then we will be forced to come back for 14 days! We need to be heard, and we will do whatever it takes for our voices to be heard.”
Meanwhile, ER24 said three people were injured when a truck rammed into cars on the N4 in Mpumalanga during the #BlackMonday protest, causing a 13-vehicle pile-up.
Thousands of farmers and supporters of their cause joined convoys around the country as part of #BlackMonday to protest against farm murders.
In support of Black Monday, KZN farmers from Ladysmith, Winterton, Estcourt, Colenso and Weenen hold a prayer session along the N3 highway near Ladysmith yesterday. The farmers were protesting against attacks on them and their farmworkers.