Helen Zille tweeted these words ahead of today’s protest against farm killings and other violence, in a country where murders average 52 a day:
“I will wear black on Monday for all the innocent farmers who are murdered trying to protect their families.
I will wear black for all those ordinary citizens who are murdered in their homes or in gang-related warfare.
I will wear black for all those who are affected by crime in this country.
I will wear black for all the innocent children who are sexually abused and killed daily
I will wear black for all the women who are raped and physically abused.
I will wear black for our lost freedom of movement in SA due to inefficient policing.
I will wear black because I am sad and feeling despondent for our beloved and beautiful country South Africa.”
Meanwhile, farming group Agri SA has also demanded that violence against farm communities must stop.
“It has long been time for the public and the government to take note of the brutality of farm attacks, as well as the onslaught aimed at members of the farming community. For this reason, Agri SA supports the awareness campaign that kicks off on Monday, 30 October 2017, with South Africans expressing their support by wearing black,” said Agri SA President Dan Kriek.
“Farmers are vulnerable, and it is therefore important to be prepared at household level and, through community involvement, to curb this violent onslaught. One of the pillars for community participation in rural safety is the implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy. Becoming more proactive means that the individual and community must be ready and prepared for any event and this is only possible when farmers and farm workers are involved in the structures of organised agriculture.”
Kriek concluded: “I am fully aware of the emotional stress experienced within farming communities and that Agri SA and its provincial organisations will continue to seek solutions to stop the violent onslaught waged against our farming communities.
“South Africa cannot afford any further violence against farming communities. Farm attacks and the brutality thereof must be strongly condemned by all South Africans.
“We think of the thousands of fellow South Africans who have lost their lives during the past year as a result of violent crime, 52 murders a day! Many farmers and farm workers count among those who have paid the highest price,”