9th Oct 2020
As the nation reflects on the events following the murder of a 21-year-old Free State farm manager, two agricultural leaders speak about lessons to be learnt from the violent protests outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court earlier this week.
Nick Serfontein said that it was not a planned march that happened in Senekal. A few WhatsApp messages was shared. He does not know how many people arrived there, but it was quite a lot. People came from far to support the Horner family. Everything went peacefully in the start, until a small group of young people went into the court room and behaved in a wild and irresponsible way.
Destroying government property is unacceptable and does not justify anything. Most of the farmers that was there also agree that the behaviour was wrong, but it was all out of frustration and anger.
“But what is true, is that farmers are fed-up. They are tired of this. It is not only farm attacks, but also stock theft. Everyone suffers. In fact, stock theft affects black farmers more because they do not have the means to protect their cattle and their stock” said Serfontein.
What we should not overlook is that black farmers are also very unhappy about the crimes, farm attacks and murders that is going on in our country. They also do not feel save in their own homes, and fear for the lives of their families and workers.
“However, we cannot in anyway support the barbarism that took place outside the Senekal magistrate’s court. The turning over of state, or any other vehicles and then burning it should not be supported” said Nakana Masoka.
Farming is difficult. You have to fight the drought. You have to fight climate change. Farmers go though financial loss because of this.
Through all that difficulties, farmers vow to provide a need to this country by ensuring that there is food and giving us a sustainable economic growth.
Although farmers from the Free State must learn to control their emotions. The thing that happened might happen again but this time they will probably be calmer.
“The fact that this March didn’t happen sooner is just a miracle. It was due to happen. I’m not saying it is right, but people were eventually going to crack. The same farmers that are being murdered are asking how they can help black and emerging farmers in South Africa. The government is shooting itself in the foot with their lack of responsibility.” said Serfontein.
The Rural Protection Plan states that its aim is to bring all role players together to find a common strategy to step up the fight against crime, especially violent crime in all farming communities. But in this situation the government and the police is not assisting nor taking the matter seriously.