A rainbow nation, dressed in black
Rustenburg – In almost every town and city across South Africa the message of Black Monday was seen, heard and felt.
The #BlackMonday protest against violence, torture and the brutal killings of farmers and farm workers spread throughout South Africa like a veld fire, culminating in Black Monday on 30 October.
Joubert Conradie, a 47-year old wine farmer, was one of the latest brutal farm killings which not only destroyed a family, but ripped through an entire community.
His death was different though: through the tears and pleading of his mourning friend, Joubert Conradie’s death shined as a beacon for people from every community in South Africa to come together and say: “enough is enough”.
To raise global awareness of the farm murders and attacks in South Africa, which most of the time is committed with unimaginable cruelty, the friend asked that all South Africans wear black on Monday, 30 October, to mourn those who died or whose lives were destroyed. Protestors gathered at town halls, malls and churches and drove or marched at a procession pace through the hearts of nearly every town in South Africa. In Rustenburg, Brits, Thabazimbi and nearly every other town where the Platinum Weekly newspaper is read, these protests were observed mostly without incident.
This symbolic funeral procession was lead by tractors, trucks and bikers to symbolise the death of our farmers and farm workers.
Not everyone was impressed by #BlackMonday. There was the odd instance of a person or two displaying the old South African flag. In protests there are always certain members pushing their own agenda. The student protests #FeesMustFall, where certain individuals set alight university buildings causing millions of rands of damage, is a good example of such actions. The organisers of #BlackMonday publicly denounced any instances of unpatriotic behaviour, stating that it deflects attention from the real issue: the brutal rape and murder of South African farmers and farm workers.
Naysayers would point to websites posting fake and inaccurate news, which can statistically “prove” that farm killings are ‘on par’ with the standard murder rate in South Africa... A grim reminder of people who would deny that the Holocaust ever happened.
However, those statistics are easily blurred by “what defines a farm killing”. The South African Police do not distinguish farm murders from other murders when issuing statistics.
AfriForum’s research institute has become the unofficial statistical monitoring watchdog, supplying the most reliable figures with empirical data collection and on the ground involvement.
There have been over 70 farm murders since 1 January 2017 and 341 reported farm attacks.
Although theft is given as the main reason behind farm attacks, the extreme brutality of farm murders and attacks is a gruesome reality.
One example: Attie Potgieter (40) was stabbed 151 times in front of his wife Wilna (36) and their 2-year old daughter. The mother had to watch how her 2-year old Wilmien was executed and thrown in a box… eventually Wilna was also executed.
Almost all South Africans know someone who was murdered, brutally attacked or raped.
The world can choose to turn their backs on this gruesome reality, it would not be the 1st time in history… Or they can choose to hear our cry for help.
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