Posted on October 14, 2020

South Africa President Says Farm Attacks Not ‘Racially Motivated’

Al Jazeera, October 12, 2020

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa called for calm on Monday, rejecting claims by pressure groups representing the country’s white minority that a spike in deadly attacks on farms was “ethnic cleansing”.

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


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

He instead characterised the attacks as a sad reminder that the country was still recovering from its dark past under the apartheid regime, which ended in the early 1990s.


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


Murders on farms are an explosive issue in South Africa, where some white minority activist groups promote the idea that they are victims of a “white genocide” that aims to force landowners to flee.


“Contrary to the irresponsible claims of some lobby groups, killings on farms are not ethnic cleansing. They are not genocidal. They are acts of criminality and must be treated as such,” Ramaphosa said.

“The claim that violent crime on farms is part of an orchestrated campaign by Blacks to drive white farmers off their land is simply not borne out by fact,” Ramaphosa said.

The government is preparing to expropriate white-owned land without compensation, as part of an effort to redress economic inequalities… {snip}