Pretoria - A meeting between the minister of police and “Boer” leaders, called in a bid to discuss farm killings and rural security, was cancelled shortly after it had started, following a heated debate between the different stakeholders.
What was supposed to be a fruitful engagement quickly turned into a war of words between the two parties. The meeting was cancelled and separate press conferences were held afterwards.
According to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, the other party deviated from the agenda they themselves had set.
Mthethwa said he had no problem with meeting anyone or any organisation to discuss crime. “They said the meeting would be about crime, but they were raising issues about the ANC. As we started, the delegation raised issues about the ANC. I can’t talk about ANC matters on a government platform. We were ready so that if there was anything that related to crime matters we would discuss it. We actually had to cancel the meeting,” he said.
Mthethwa said the self-styled “Boer” leaders should tell him if they want to meet him as a political leader and he will gladly agree.
Leader of the Covenant Nation Republics (Gelofte Volk) André Visagie said the “Boer leaders” of the three organisations that were present , Gelofte Volk, the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) and the Commando Corps, wanted to discuss farm murders with Mthethwa.
Visagie said they wanted to discuss the security situation in South Africa and had submitted the agenda of the meeting to Mthethwa’s office. He said the cancellation of the meeting was a clear indication that the minister was not informed about the agenda.
He defended his reference to “the ANC” in the meeting and said it was a mistake on his part as he wanted to say government.
“This was all great misunderstanding. Instead of using the word ‘government’, I used ‘ANC’ and he [Mthethwa] took exception to it and was really upset. It is the same thing, because the ANC is government,” said Visagie.
He said he felt discouraged by what happened.
Visagie then started accusing police of sitting around and watching “black rioters” vandalise property and instigate murder. He showed a placard which he said was held by a protester outside court during the Eugene TerreBlanche case which read “the open grave next to ET is for Visagie not Martie”.
“Why were those people not arrested? There were a lot of police there but they just ignored the instigation to kill. This is not acceptable,” he said. Visagie also attacked police on their softly softly approach to dealing with protesters in the Western Cape. He said because of polices failure to protect farmers there, if he got a call to come and assist, he would gladly take his firearm and protect them.
“I will take my legal firearm with me. I will go down to the Western Cape to help that farmer to protect his property, because the police have failed to do it,” said Visagie.
He said he felt as though the police were not doing enough to protect white farmers. He said he was grateful that there is a special unit for rioters. “While we are speaking about special units: there is a special unit to stop rhino killings, but in the past four years, 4 000 white farmers [have been] killed but there is no special unit to protect farmers. It seems as though the life of a rhino is more important than that of a white farmer.”