The South African President says farm attacks are not “racially motivated”...

The South African President says farm attacks are not “racially motivated”...
The South African President says farm attacks are not “racially motivated”...
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday called for silence, rejecting claims by pressure groups representing the country’s white minority that an increase in deadly attacks on farms was “ethnic cleansing”.

His appeal came after a group of mostly white farmers stormed a court on Wednesday during the hearing of two black suspects accused of killing a 22-year-old farm manager.

The main initiator of the rioters, Andre Pienaar (52), was arrested on Friday and charged with terrorism.

Ramaphosa, in its weekly newsletter to the nation, strongly refuted claims that farm attacks were racially motivated.

Instead, he described the attacks as a sad reminder that the country was still recovering from its dark past under the apartheid regime that ended in the early 1990s.

Contrary to the irresponsible claims of some lobby groups, murders on farms are not ethnic cleansing. You are not genocide. They are criminal offenses and should be treated as such

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

“We would be naive to assume that racial relations in agricultural communities have been harmonious since the advent of democracy,” wrote Ramaphosa.

“If this is not approached openly and honestly and we are not ready to enter into a dialogue, it remains a festering wound that threatens social cohesion.”

After sentencing the young farm manager’s murder in the Free State province last month, Ramaphosa said the spectacle of white farmers storming a court to attack two black suspects “opened wounds that go back generations.”

The incident demonstrated “how easily the tinder-box of racial hatred can be ignited,” he said.

The President urged all South Africans to oppose any attempts to use crime on farms to mobilize communities on a racist basis.

Expropriated white land

Farm murders are an explosive issue in South Africa, where some white minority activist groups advocate the idea of ​​being victims of “white genocide” aimed at forcing landowners to flee.

There are approximately 37,000 white farm operators or managers in South Africa according to 2017 census figures.

Around 70 percent of privately owned farmland in South Africa is owned by whites, who make up less than 9 percent of the country’s 58 million people.

“The majority of victims of violent crime are blacks and the poor, and it is young black men and women who are at a disproportionately higher risk of murder,” Ramaphosa said.

South Africa has a high murder rate – in the 12 months to April, police statistics show 21,325 murders, of which only 49 were white farmers.

Even so, claims of a “white genocide” in South Africa have grown in prominence among white supremacist groups around the world, and in 2018 they even caught the attention of US President Donald , who tweeted a pledge to investigate South African farm murders.

“Contrary to the irresponsible claims of some lobby groups, murders on farms are not ethnic cleansing. You are not genocide. They are criminal offenses and must be treated as such, ”said Ramaphosa.

“Claims that violent crimes on farms are part of a black-staged campaign to evict white farmers from their land is simply not supported by facts,” Ramaphosa said.

The government is preparing to expropriate white-owned land without compensation in order to eradicate economic inequalities that persist a quarter of a century after the end of apartheid.

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