Thursday 19 September 2019

White South African farmers block major routes in protest over murders

The freeway is blockaded between Johannesburg and Vereeniging (AP)
The freeway is blockaded between Johannesburg and Vereeniging (AP)

Thousands of white farmers have blocked traffic on some major roads in South Africa in what they call a Black Monday protest against the high rate of murders of farmers.

Convoys of hundreds of slow-moving trucks and cars brought traffic to a crawl on highways leading from farming areas to Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg, and white farmers and their supporters wore black in memory of farmers killed on their properties.

The protests have been peaceful and police have accompanied the demonstrators.

The protests are backed by AfriForum, a lobby group that promotes the rights of South Africa's white minority, especially the Afrikaner population.

AfriForum claims 70 white farmers have been murdered in 341 attacks this year.

The rate of murders of white farmers is much higher than South Africa's general murder rate, said Ian Cameron, AfriForum's head of community safety, speaking at the Afrikaners' Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria where hundreds of protesters gathered.

"A farmer has 4.5 times more chance of being murdered in South Africa than an average South African," said Mr Cameron, according to the African News Agency.

"That means a farmer is three times more likely to be murdered in South Africa than a police officer in this country. So farmers have by far the most dangerous job of all people in this country, at the moment. We cannot allow this to continue the way it is."

The protest has been criticised by the Black First Land First group which claimed in a series of tweets that white farmers are perpetrating violence against black people.


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