Date: Saturday 04 November 2017
Time: 10h30am to 12h30pm
Location: Pavement outside the South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DP.
A peaceful united protest – organised by South African expats in London – regarding the farm murders back home in SA, is to go ahead on Saturday 4 November 2017.
The organisers say they are responding to numerous calls for the global South African community to help create international awareness on this issue.
The peaceful static protest will be held outside the South African High Commission in London’s popular Trafalgar Square, and organisers hope to hand over a memorandum to a representative of the SA High Commission.
‘Black Monday’ protests were held across South Africa on Monday 30 October 2017, highlighting the ongoing violent attacks and murder of local farmers, their families and the workers.
In a press release, titled “United for South African Farmers – Stop the Killing!”, the UK organisers explained their decision to go ahead with the protest.
They said the ongoing vicious farm attacks and murders are often “barbaric and inhumane, causing significant suffering to the victims”; and that many South Africans feel the SA government has been turning a blind eye and not doing enough to ensure the SA Police Service (SAPS) implements their rural safety strategy.
Last week Police Minister Fikile Mbalula presented South Africa’s annual national crime statistics without mentioning figures on farm murders and attacks. The organisers say while there are 34.1 South Africans murdered per 100,000 of the population; there are 156 commercial farmers killed per 100,000, according to a recent statement by Afriforum.
They said AfriForum Research Institute collected and assessed statistics for 2016/17, recording 357 attacks and 74 murders between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017… which has an impact on SA’s food security, agricultural economy, job creation, security for countless families who rely on income from the farm workers employed by these farmers and many more.
The organisers acknowledge the issue of farm attacks and murders has always been a “thorny” one which causes heated debates and division; and say for this reason they acknowledge “the high murder rate that averages at 52 murders per day and other atrocious crimes that affect the lives of South Africans on a daily basis.
“We acknowledge that all lives matter. We acknowledge the ongoing racial dispute regarding the fact that the affected farmers are generally of white descent and the implications thereof.
“We acknowledge that farmers should be held to accountability on issues such as working conditions for their staff.
“We acknowledge various other related issues including but not limited to land reform, a stagnating economy, job security, food security, corruption in government, and a generally inept and insufficiently trained and resourced police force.
“In light of the main purpose and focus of Monday’s protest across South Africa, we have chosen to keep the focus on the farmers.
“Through the various discussions and debates we have witnessed and taken part in, we realize that this thorny issue is symptomatic of a much wider and deep-rooted set of issues, much like the tip of an iceberg.
“In keeping the focus on the farmers, we are by no means disregarding all of the above-mentioned but we do wish to respect the organisers of the various protests that took place on Monday and most importantly we wish to respect those who have suffered and/or lost their lives due to these attacks.
“This protest has no political or racial agenda. It is an appeal for all South Africans of all races and cultures to unite in support of the attacks and murder of our nation’s farmers. We also welcome anyone who wishes to protest against all other crimes in SA. Any form of racism will not be tolerated.
“We support the safety and security of ALL farmers, farm workers, their families and communities regardless of race or cultural background.
“We support the vision of a united, peaceful and inclusive democratic South Africa.”