#FarmMurders: Black Monday idea reaps bitter harvest
A group under the banner “Genoeg is Genoeg” (Enough is Enough) organised the demonstration on social media following the murder of Klapmuts farmer Joubert Conradie. He was shot at his Uitkyk farm in the early hours of Monday morning by unknown suspects. He was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said no arrests had been made and investigations were ongoing.
“Genoeg is Genoeg” spokesperson Talita Basson said the aim of the procession was to raise awareness of farmers being killed.
“Our aim is to stand together and support farmers. We have had enough of the empty promises about crime. We are saying enough is enough,” Basson said.
She said the group was distancing itself from any divisive activities, including the waving of the old South African flag.
Basson said the group would gather along the R44 and travel to Cape Town in horses, tractors and trucks to raise awareness on the killings.
“We will not submit a memorandum, but we want to stand together and show support,” she said.
In a tweet on Friday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille came out in support of the group which will be wearing black on Monday and encourages all residents to do do as well.
The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry also voiced its support.
“Farmers are among the most productive members of the community but they live in isolated homes and are vulnerable. We should do everything possible to deal with this scourge of violence and robbery,” president Janine Myburgh said.
“For too long the farmers of the country have been the invisible victims of crime and the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports their bid to bring their desperate plight to the attention of the public and the authorities.”
However, it was not clear on Friday afternoon if permission had been granted by either the Stellenbosch municipality or the City of Cape Town.
Traffic department spokesperson Kenny Africa said he was not aware of any permission granted for protest action on the N1. Africa said marches were not usually allowed on the N1 and a special permit would have to be applied for and granted beforehand.
The director of safety and security in the city, Richard Bosman also said he was not aware of a permit. “The gatherings office would receive the application and my office would also be made aware, but I have not yet seen anything.”
Rural and Farm Workers Development Organisation co-ordinator Billy J Claasen said the same support should be shown to farmworkers who suffer at the hands of their employers. “We are also waiting on them to speak out against the attacks, evictions and assaults of farmworkers in the West Coast and Boland,” he said.
“We are not going to take part in this so-called ‘Black Monday’ event for the mere fact that they never speak out when farmworkers are being attacked by farmers,” Claasen said.