Today has been dubbed Black Monday and people have been urged to wear black to show their outrage at the spate of farm killings, especially after the death of a farmer in Klapmuts near Stellenbosch.
At a joint press briefing Sunday held by AfriForum and the Department of Community Safey, MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato condemned the recent attacks and murder on farms in the Western Cape.
“The Western Cape government views every murder in a serious light. Let me be clear, no murder or violent attack in any community can be tolerated,” Plato said.
Last Tuesday a farmer was shot on his farm. Joubert Conradie, 47, died later at the Stellenbosch Mediclinic.
There have been four armed farm attacks in the Western Cape this month.
“That is why my department has an open-door policy to see how we can partner with any person or organisation, such as AfriForum, who wants to help create the safer environments we all want to live in,” Plato said. He urged farmers to remain vigilant in their approach to safety.
He also said he planned to raise the matter with the national minister of police.
AfriForum manager for safety Thomas van Dalen said that when he attended the funeral service of Conradie, “The most significant message that was conveyed by all present was not hatred or bitterness, but who would be a strong enough leader to find solutions to end this escalating form of horrible violence” .
Nationally there has been 341 farm attacks this year, with 70 people murdered, compared to 339 attacks and 64 murders last year.
The new 10-point plan to protect farms in the Western Cape intends to create awareness and offer assistance to farm communities.
The plan will be implemented in the last months of the year and AfriForum will be communicating safety tips on their social media pages and website.
Billy J Claasen, project co-ordinator of the Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation, said while they sympathise with the families of the farmers murdered, they also condemned the call on social media by some farmers to take up arms to safeguard themselves.
“We need to work with the police and the government to see that they do their work and keep us safe. We also not going to take part in this so-called ‘Black Monday’ event for the mere fact that they never speak out when farmworkers are attacked by farmers.
“Farmers must also stop this tendency of employing cheap labour of neighbouring countries. There are enough workers in SA.”