Guest article from MEP Janice Atkinson
Following the ENF group’s raising awareness of the atrocities and farm murders in South Africa by hosting the Freedom Front Plus party and documentary maker, Lauren Southern, earlier this year in Brussels and Strasbourg, we continue to raise awareness, pledge support and forge friendships in South Africa, while the rest of the world turns away.
Last week our delegation from the European Parliament was invited by our South African friends in the Freedom Front Plus Party to Cape Town to continue our fruitful conversations on the pressing issues taking place in their country and to find ways for further and closer cooperation. South Africa and its people are close to my heart. After visiting that wonderful country a number of times I am disturbed to witness how the utopian idea of the Rainbow Nation is on the verge of descending into a bloody chaos.
You can catch up on my work and previous pieces at https://www.janiceatkinson.co.uk/category/media/africa/, in particular on the conference with Mr Corne Mulder in Brussels on The Political situation in South Africa (https://www.janiceatkinson.co.uk/2018/02/conference-political-situation-south-africa/), South Africa`s Future Depends on the Respect of Human Rights (https://www.janiceatkinson.co.uk/2018/02/mega-tv-episode-3-south-africa-future-depends-respect-human-rights).
During our visit we were given an insightful guided tour of the South African Parliament by Dr. Pieter Mulder, former leader of the Freedom Front Plus Party, focusing on the history of the Parliament and the close historical ties between South Africa and Europe.
We then met with Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the leader of FF+ and Dr. Corné Mulder, chief whip.
They explained to us that our visit was even more timely with the South African general elections being held in 2019 and the stakes are extremely high. The survival of a nation is on the line as the political situation is more and more disturbing, the country`s future, its human rights abuses and the lack of rule of law are all in question.
Sadly, if the violent Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gain power, advocating wholesale nationalisation, black empowerment by seizure of land and assets and violence against the whites and other minorities, chaos and destruction could follow.
We also met with TAU SA, the most prominent South African farmers’ union, working to ensure a productive and safe existence for its members on the land they own. They admit that the current reality in South Africa indicates that this is not possible at the moment.
We learned that the South African government is committed to land expropriation without compensation.
“The moment of truth is upon us. We now must acknowledge that with the coming to power of the ANC, the stage was set for the inexorable destruction of, South Africa’s food security. The government must be stopped in its tracks with this legislation”.
In a dire, worst-case scenario case, which is tragically becoming more realistic, the wine lands will be lost, tourism will dry up, the ecosystems of the coast, sea and the conservation projects in the safari lands will be destroyed. Everything that the EU says it holds dear will descend into another Zimbabwe, but worse.
On the subject of farm attacks, the South African government still fails to categorise them as priority crimes. The number of farm attacks and farm murders are growing at horrific rates and their characteristics are alarmingly pointing towards genocide. Farmers are three times more likely to be murdered than security guards and police (police murder rate: 54 / 100 000 people; farmer murder rate: 150 / 100 000 people).
Mr Van de Graaf, representing the TAU SA also emphasised that farm murders can be differentiated from ordinary crime because of the extreme brutality with which they are committed: victims are often first tortured and women are raped before they are murdered.
Since 1990, approximately 4 861 farm attacks have taken place (probably more, as many attacks are categorised as ordinary robberies by the police) and 1985 persons have been murdered on farms (of which approximately 1200 were white farmers, 480 were family members of white farmers, 130 were farm workers, 68 were black farmers, and 34 were family members of black farmers. The remainder were visitors to the farm).
Mr Streicher, currently working in private security, with special forces background, who has extensive experience in investigating farm attacks, noted that these attacks amount to terrorism, as the primary aim is to spread fear. He further noted that South Africa faces serious problems with weapon smuggling and operational ISIS cells in South Africa.
He pointed out that farm attacks are extremely well organised and are usually carried out with military precision by 5 to 10 individuals who employ well-developed tactics, including extensive prior surveillance of the farm. The attackers mostly leave the scene of the crime without taking anything apart from the farmer’s weapons. He emphasised the fact that the South African government and police are either unwilling, or completely unable to investigate or prosecute farm attacks and murders.
The aim seems to be to disarm farmers through severe limitations on self-defence and gun controls. Since 1994, the South African Police Service has lostapproximately 70 000 firearms, and it is estimated (since official audits have never taken place due to refusal) that the defence force has lost between 300 000 and 400 000 firearms.
Afterwards, the ENF delegation, together with Mr Van de Graaf, travelled to a nearby farm (close to the town of Klapmuts) where a farmer was murdered in October 2017. His murder prompted the Black Monday protests of 30 October 2017.
On the farm, we met with Ms Marlene Conradie, the wife of the farmer who was murdered. Ms Conradie showed us where the perpetrators entered the house and explained that they shot her husband approximately 30 times before fleeing. Mr Conradie succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.
Ms Conradie and her two children still live on the farm but they are in constant fear. She does not have a weapon to protect herself, as Mr Conradie’s weapon has been taken in by the police as evidence and she is struggling to get it back. No progress has been made in the case and no one has been arrested.
In light of all this horror, together with our friends in South Africa we believe it is still not too late to stop the country from going to ruins. We are in the last hours though as South Africa is due to go to the polls next May and the world is turning a blind eye.
We continue to work closely together, and do all we can here in Europe, by breaking the silence and raising awareness of these issues – in the European Parliament as well as using alternative media to spread the information.