Pretoria residents to march to Union Buildings over farm attacks on Mandela Day

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The residents are concerned over various attacks, murders and aggravating robberies in and around Pretoria.

Hundreds of residents are expected to march to the Union Buildings in a peaceful protest against the recent attacks in and around Pretoria.

The march will take place from Point of Fairview to the Union Buildings on 18 July, which is Mandela Day, at 12pm.

The march comes after Pretoria and other smallholdings were targeted and serious crimes reported in the previous month. The attacks included armed robbery, murder, attempted murder and attempted rape.

Former local activist Devon Hofmeyr, Westley Barnard, an attorney, and Tommie Blignaut, leader of the BWB (Boere Weerstands Beweging) – geploegde lande, have joined forces to organise and lead what they described as a peaceful march in awareness and solidarity against farm attacks, farm murders and women’s rights.

“The attacks are just getting worse and worse,” Hofmeyr told Rekord, which has recently reported on various attacks, murders and aggravating robberies on the smallholdings in the north of Pretoria over the past month.

“This is your opportunity to get involved. You do not need to do a big thing to make a change, we just need your time.”

He said the aim of the day was to create “awareness of the brutal killings of farmers or people on the smallholdings over the country”.

Hofmeyr said there would be two starting points to the march: one where motorcyclists would meet up at the Voortrekker Monument and make their way to the Union Buildings.

While marchers would meet in Fairview Avenue and walk to the Union Buildings where they would meet at midday for the proceedings for the day.

Image: Supplied

“The peaceful march will be opened by prayer and followed by talks by the three speakers on the day including Hofmeyr, Barnard and Blignaut.”

Hofmeyr said the march was a perfect way for everyone to get involved. He further said the metro had been approached, but organisers were still awaiting feedback from the metro.

Recently, the Democratic Alliance (DA) called on government to declare farm murders as a hate crime.

On why farm murders should be declared hate crimes, DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said it was not only the attacks, but also about those, on social media and other platforms, calling for more farmers to be killed.

Kohler-Barnard said the DA would again ask the South African Police Service (SAPS) to recategorise rural attacks as priority crimes.

“The DA will also ask for investigative capacity at rural SAPS stations to be increased, to ensure that attackers are apprehended.”

She further said farm attacks and farm murders should be treated as a separate crime category, which requires a particular solution.

This article first appeared on Rekord East and was republished with permission.

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