- President Cyril Ramaphosa used his weekly letter to South Africans to discuss farm murders
- Last week saw a number of violent protests taking the spotlight in Senekal after the murder of a young man in the region
- Ramaphosa denied that these murders are racially motivated, adamant that studies backed up his view
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has addressed a burning issue in South Africa on Monday in his weekly letter to the nation.
Ramaphosa rejected the notion that there is a 'white genocide' in the country commenting that:
“The claim that violent crime on farms is part of an orchestrated campaign by blacks to drive white farmers off their land is simply not borne out by fact. Numerous studies show that crime in farming communities is largely opportunistic.”
The President further explained that communities are vulnerable due to how isolated they are:
“Rural communities are more vulnerable because of their isolated location and, as a result, the relative lack of access to security and other services. Contrary to the irresponsible claims of some lobby groups, killings on farms are not ethnic cleansing. They are not genocidal. They are acts of criminality and must be treated as such.”
Ramaphosa expressed his concern over the issues in Senekal saying that the incident had created a 'tinderbox of race hatred' ignited by the protestors:
“The violent protests that took place in Senekal following the arrest of suspects in Brendin Horn’s murder show that we have not yet escaped the divisions and mistrust of our past. While anger at the senseless killing is justifiable, vigilantism is not. What happened in Senekal shows just how easily the tinderbox of race hatred can be ignited.”
The President called for South Africans to mobilise communities by using racism, commenting:
“As a nation, we must resist any attempts to use crime on farms to mobilise communities along racial lines. One murder is a murder too many. We stand in solidarity with all victims of crime, regardless of whether they live in cities or on farms, whether they are farmers or farm workers. It should not matter to us if the victim of violent crime is black or white.”
Ramaphosa suggested that safety networks should be strengthened by the following methods:
- 'More collaboration' between farm watch organisations and Community Policing Forums
- Traditional leaders 'should be empowered to play a greater role' when it comes to safety in these communities
- Farmers should be more eager to 'provide access to their lands to law-enforcement officials'
- Private security companies operating in these areas 'need to work more closely with the SAPS'
- Investment in rural development to tackle inequality
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that protests had flared up in Senekal after the murder of a young farm manager.
The community had been enraged when the trial was postponed to a later date, demanding that the suspects involved be handed over to the protestors.
In addition to this situation, a police vehicle was set alight, prompting numerous calls for arrests to be made.
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