Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula was “part of the problem” regarding attacks and murders on farms, as he has made it “quite clear” he is not going to do anything about it, civil rights group AfriForum said yesterday.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Pretoria and other parts of the country yesterday in a protest dubbed #BlackMonday to picket against attacks and killings on farms in South Africa.
Dressed in black, they joined AfriForum and Solidarity union at the Voortrekker Monument to raise awareness on the scourge.
The police minister was contributing to the problem as he had failed to give feedback on the matter, AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said. He was referring to the fact that Mbalula did not release specific figures on farm attacks and murders when he tabled the 2016/17 crime statistics in parliament last week.
“We are going to continue to put pressure on government … and [continue with] protests. “But we are not going to wait for the minister, because Mbalula has made it clear he is not going to do anything about this,” he said.
AfriForum’s head of community safety Ian Cameron added that Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema had also contributed by making generalisations that created a “sense of divide”.
“Malema makes generalisations that call for communities to feel a sense of polarisation and division. Mbalula made this a laughing matter in parliament.
“We can’t allow anyone in this country to become just a statistic. To government at this moment, farmers are just numbers.”
Some disgruntled farmers blocked roads and highways yesterday, leading to major traffic delays. This affected matriculants who were en route to sit for the 2017 national senior certificate exams yesterday, Gauteng Education Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said.
He said the department would let those who arrived late write the exams.
“Administrative prescripts will be invoked for all those who might have missed [yesterday’s] paper. “We expect minimal, exceptional cases,” he added.
Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson Simon Zwane said three people were arrested for obstructing traffic on the N1 in Pretoria.
“They were released with a R1 000 fine each and warned to appear in court on November 24 if they want to challenge the fine.”