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Julius Malema,

Is black-nationalist rhetoric fuelling South African farm murders?

While the UN acknowledges that threats of violence to racial or ethnic minorities may lead to violence against them, South Africa has seen a rise in black-nationalist rhetoric directed against people of European descent, especially farmers. Are anti-white speeches by Malema, Zuma and others fuelling the rise in farm murders?

Published: November 15, 2016, 2:16 pm

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    When a 55-year-old white woman was attacked and killed at a farm near Ventersdorp, in South Africa, she became the third victim of a farm murder in just one weekend this year.

    Farm attacks are on the rise according to Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa’s (TAU SA) mid-year statistics on farm attacks and murders. The TAU SA’s latest figures show that in June 2015 there had only been 131 farm attacks and 27 murders‚ compared with 186 attacks and 39 murders in June 2016.

    The rich Gauteng province is the hardest hit‚ with 14 murders in the first half of 2016 compared with four in the first half of 2015. The North West had four murders in June 2016‚ up from two in June 2015.

    The increase coincides with the rise of firebrand politician Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, who has kept on singing “Kill a Boer, kill a farmer” at his political rallies, despite a court order to prohibit him from inciting racial hatred. The song was made famous by Nelson Mandela and Ronnie Kasrils.

    The song was declared hate speech by the Equality Court in 2011. Malema was president of the ANC Youth League at the time, but he continued singing it to followers of his new Marxist revolutionary party.

    Is there a link between the black-nationalist rhetoric of Malema, Zuma and others, and the rise of farm murders and other hate crimes committed against South Africa’s white minority?

    In a 2015 report by the UN Human Rights Council, it was found that “although not all hateful messages result in actual hate crimes, hate crimes rarely occur without prior stigmatization and dehumanization of targeted groups and incitement to hate incidents fuelled by religious or racial bias.”

    At the ANC centenary celebrations in 2012, president Zuma sang Sizobadubula ngembayimbayi (Shoot with a machine gun). The president sang the refrain ”Shoot the Boer” several times during his rendition, but there was no fall-out for the president.

    Malema has now been barred by yet another law-suit from singing the genocidal song “Kill the Boer” but on 14 December 2014 reportedly closed the Economic Freedom Fighters’ annual congress in Bloemfontein by singing “Dubula I’bhunu” which translates to “Kill the Boer”.

    Dr Gregory Stanton of GenocideWatch held a press conference in Pretoria during his visit in 2014 and said that singing the song was inciting the genocide of an entire people, a crime under international law.

    According to Stanton of Genocide Watch “… this is not a struggle song, it’s an incitement to commit genocide (of the Afrikaner white people)… Its a crime.”

    Henry Geldenhuys‚ TAU SA deputy president and chairman of the organisation’s safety committee‚ estimates that by the end of 2016 the current figures for the year will have doubled. Traditionally attacks are rife over the Christmas period‚ he said.

    Geldenhuys said that TAU SA’s figures were not random but recorded in a highly detailed order. “Every attack has a name‚ date and farm name‚” he said.

    There has been a substantial increase in these cruel attacks in South Africa against whites since 2012 with a total number of 1 824 murders reported in farm attacks since 1990 as well as 3 933 attacks also recorded, but the South African Police refuses to prioritise the attacks on whites despite being implored by many opposition parties and civil organisations to address the scourge.

    According to bi-annual statistics the year 2012 (174 attacks) saw a significant rise compared to 96 attacks in 2011. In 2013 the number again increased to 231 people reportedly attacked. In 2014 it rose to 279 and reached a record high in 2015 when 318 people were reportedly attacked on their farms.

    Yet the terrifying attacks continue unabated.

    Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Pelonomi Makau said three black men entered Witrantjiesfontein farm near Ventersdorp on the last Sunday morning of October. They allegedly killed a white woman with stones and a garden fork. The farm had belonged to AWB leader Eugene Terre’blanche who was also brutally killed in a farm attack in 2010.

    When a white member of the Democratic Alliance – the largest opposition party in the country – in the North West province expressed her “outrage and concern” at Terre’blanche’s murder, she blamed Julius Malema.

    “This happened in a province where racial tension in the rural farming community is increasingly being fuelled by irresponsible racist utterances by the leader of the ANCYL Leader Julius Malema and the North West Cosatu secretary Solly Pheto,” said Democratic Alliance member of Parliament Juanita Terblanche.

    She said the DA did not share Terre’blanche’s political convictions, but an attack of this nature could be regarded as an attack on the diverse communities of the country.

    The victim had stayed alone on the rented piece of land, and was apparently busy feeding cattle and sheep when she was viciously assaulted. Her body was later found by the farm owner who alerted police and an intensive search by various units, including the air wing, was launched in a bid to stem the political fall-out from the murder. But in most cases the police lack enthusiasm when attacks are reported and the community is left to do the follow-up.

    It was during the search that the victim’s Isuzu bakkie was spotted in Hartbeesfontein. Upon seeing the police, the suspects abandoned the bakkie and fled on foot. With assistance of the community, one of them was arrested. Police are still on the lookout for the two black suspects.

    But even if the attackers are caught, their survivors face the trauma of long protracted court cases and short sentences for the criminals.

    A black murderer found guilty of the murder of five white men during farm attacks in Brits in 2014 showed his middle finger to his surviving victims and the court when he was convicted in the Pretoria High Court on 1 July this year.

    Mandlazi lifted his middle finger defiantly to victims and to the court during the proceedings.

    FreeWest spoke to a security advisor, who wanted to remain anonymous, at the Randburg Magistrates Court in Johannesburg who said the attacks are politically motivated and carried out by “trained soldiers in a military fashion”.

    Knowledge Paulus Mandlazi told the Kormorant, a local newspaper, that he had committed the murders and robberies because he hated white people and wanted their money. He described his crime spree as merely “going to work”.

    Mandlazi (28) of Ikaneng, a township in South Africa, was sentenced to five terms of life imprisonment for murdering five men on farms in the Brits area and a further 38 years effective imprisonment on four charges of attempted murder, six of robbery, two of housebreaking and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

    His accomplice John Tivane (31) of Mozambique was sentenced to life and a further 25 years effective imprisonment on three charges of murder, three of attempted murder, five of robbery and two of housebreaking.

    The charges followed four armed attacks on farms in the Brits area between March and June 2014 in which four men were killed and several people injured and robbed.

    Mandlazi’s sentences will run concurrently with the 25-year prison sentence he is currently serving for a murder and robbery committed just days before the Brits murder and a robbery spree in 2014.

    The Judge, Billy Mothle, remarked that Mandlazi’s description of the robberies and murders as “going to work”, was terrifying.

    Mandlazi and Tivane were also guilty of murder regarding their accomplice, Mathosi Sithole, who was shot dead by a victim during one of the attacks, according to the judge in his comments from the bench.

    Leander Dercksen (22) was murdered in the fields on their farm in Soutpansdrift in March 2014. He was shot in the head and neck. The murderers then fled with his vehicle.

    In April 2014, Danie Dercksen ( 45) of Geluk was in the garden with his family, enjoying a meal, when they were attacked. Danie was shot in the chest and died while his brother Bennie was wounded.

    Louis van Wyk (55), his wife Hester and his son Louis Jr (27) were attacked at their house in Kareepoort in May 2014. Van Wyk Sr was shot in the head and stomach, and died in hospital. His son Louis Jr shot and killed one of the robbers.

    In June 2014, Joshua Joubert (70), was shot in the chest and abdomen while visiting family in Mamogalieskraal. A family member, Josias van der Schyff, was also severely assaulted and almost killed during the attack.

    Farmer Attie du Toit and his wife Annelie are still traumatised after they were attacked in their rural home in July this year. Speaking at the release of the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa’s (TAU SA) mid-year statistics on farm attacks and murders in the same month‚ Du Toit said he and his wife had recently become a statistic.

    Four black armed robbers attacked Annelie‚ who was home‚ while Du Toit was away from their cattle farm in Tweedracht‚ east of Pretoria‚ on business.

    The gang ransacked their home‚ bound Annelie and threatened her with rape and murder. “They held an iron to her face and asked‚ ‘Do you feel the heat?’” Du Toit said. But many white farmers and their families are not so lucky to escape death.

    In terms of farm murders, 2002 was the bloodiest year with 119 people losing their lives in farm attacks while 1990 was the year with the lowest number of people (16) who lost their lives in the attacks.

    So far 2016 has seen a staggering rise in attacks in which 39 people have been killed. Gauteng province has the highest murder rate, not only for 2016 but also since 1990 with 499 attacks and 413 murders.

    Figures for the North West province are 679 attacks in which 253 people lost their lives, KwaZulu-Natal has seen 436 attacks with 294 murders, while the Free State province has recorded 436 attacks with 192 murders.

    The province with the least reported attacks and murders is the Northern Cape with 46 attacks and 26 murders since 1990.

    Attempts by Free West Media to reach the Afro-Marxist EFF for their comment have so far proven unsuccessful. However, a co-founder of the party, Kenny Kunene, recently confirmed that the leader Julius Malema “hates white people”. He was quoted by the Johannesburg daily The Citizen as saying:

    “This is part of why I left the EFF. Malema used to make it clear how much he hates white people. He used to say the plan was to use white people and their resources to build the EFF until it could take power.

    “‘Then when we are in power, we take everything from them.’

    “He’s just waiting to come to power, and then no white person will be able to own land or a business unless 51% of that business is handed over to a black shareholder. That’s how it is in Zimbabwe, and that’s how it will be here.

    “Let’s not fool ourselves. It makes me happy that he’s saying these things now so that we can know who he really is. I’ve said before that his hatred of white people is so strong you can cut it with a blade. When he speaks to a white audience, like the Cape Chamber, which is 90% white, then he says the EFF’s policy is for the state to own the land, which will be shared among blacks and whites. He only talks about taking municipal land when he talks to white people.

    “But when he talks in the township, he only talks expropriation without compensation.”

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