There has been a palpable and growing anger primarily from the white farmers in South Africa who have a feeling that they are being targeted through the farm murders, which they say have been spiralling out of control. On Monday, they gathered to protest over this under the #BlackMonday hashtag.
A couple of Black South Africans also joined the protests, although not every Black person supported this as they felt it was racist and the white farmers are having an unjustified sense of entitlement. Thousands of people dressed in black had earlier gathered in parts of Pretoria, the Vaal and Krugersdorp and barricaded highways with tractors and cars. Supporters who gathered at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria say that Monday's protest was a huge success.
Johan Fourie said that today's protest is the start of many. "The next gathering is an AfriForum gathering on the 21 November. We're having a march from the Arts Museum up to the Union Buildings." Racial wounds were opened during the protests when some of the white farmers were seen carrying flags from the aparthied era.
Earlier, the Black First Land First (BLF) called on South Africans not to support the protest against farm killings but instead to mourn the thousands of workers who are still slaves on farms. The group claims that farmers have turned farms into zones of violence for black people. Farming communities in South Africa are saying that there is lack of adequate policing to protect them from these murders.
Lobby group AfriForum has given its backing to the protest. The group’s Thomas van Dalen says: “Food security should be a matter of national priority. Every farmer that’s murdered in his farm creates a chain reaction.
“The first link in the chain reaction breaks, suddenly thousands of are out of food due to a farmer that was taken out of the food supply chain, as well as farmers that leave their farms out of fear for their lives.”
According to the group, there have been 70 fatal attacks on farmers since January. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has warned protesters to be peaceful, adding that action will be taken against those who threatened to blockade roads with trucks and tractors.
The protest comes three days after two white farmers were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison each for forcing a black man into a coffin. They intend to appeal against the sentence. The idea that white farmers are being targeted has been going around for some time. The fact-checking site Africa Check found back in 2013 that white people in South Africa are less likely to be murdered than any other racial group.