South African civil rights organisation AfriForum has called on international media outlets to acknowledge the extent to which minority communities in South Africa are being threatened by discriminatory policies, violent farm attacks and murders, land invasions, and hate speech, as South Africa Today reports.
This follows after a New York Times story titled “How Tucker Carlson Reshaped Fox News – and Became Trump’s Heir” was published recently. It mentioned AfriForum and the organisation’s campaigns to bring awareness to the scourge of farm murders and the government threatening property rights in South Africa – both of which the piece downplays or dismisses.
“Until (Tucker) Carlson waded in, few Americans were paying attention to “farm murders” in South Africa”, the New York Times claimed. “In a country of 60 million people, where violent crime is common but the vast majority of its victims are Black, the police record dozens of murders of whites on farms and other small holdings each year. But the notion that white farmers were being singled out for attack was largely confined to the far-right web, where writers and commenters warned of a burgeoning “white genocide” — itself a neo-Nazi trope dating back to the end of apartheid”
Given the scourge of farm murders that take dozens of lives each year, AfriForum has requested that the paper correct its obvious factual errors, “but has been informed by the publication that it has decided not to publish AfriForum’s reaction to the article.”
Official data by the South African Police Service (SAPS) indicates that roughly two farm attacks have been reported every day, and approximately two farm murders have been reported every week in South Africa over a period of two decades, AfriForum stated.
Despite these realities, AfriForum has taken note of some international news outlets who downplay or even spread misinformation or government propaganda regarding the plight of minorities in South Africa in an apparent attempt to land punches in their own domestic political arenas.
“This is why it is so important for AfriForum to keep telling the truth about South Africa,” said Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum.
“Our campaign is directed at raising awareness and working together with credible role players to improve the plight of minority communities in South Africa. We do not expect the international community to solve South Africa’s problems on our behalf. However, we insist that global media outlets tell the truth, correct mistakes and report objectively.”
AfriForum’s Ernst Roets spoke at CPAC Hungary on May 20:
South Africa Today‘s Roll Call of Farm Murders in April:
April 2 – Smallholding attack and murder- Vaalbank Zuid, Bloemfontein. Ando Swanepoel (73) was ambushed at the gate of his property and severely assaulted by a number of black male attackers and left for dead. Ando’s wife was also hit over the head in the house. Ando was hospitalized. His face was broken in three places and he sustained bleeding on the brain. The couple was robbed of cash and forced to transfer money electronically. Ando never recovered and died in hospital on April 7.
April 3 – Cullinan – Unknown white woman’s vehicle rammed from behind after which she was shot in neck and stomach. Woman was hospitalized.
April 5 – Farm murder between Hopefield and Moreesburg, Western Cape -Frans (69) and Ingrid (65) Koch were attacked and stabbed in their home. Ingrid was stabbed multiple times and died on the scene due to her injuries. Her husband, Frans, who suffered severe stab wounds, was rushed to a nearby hospital.
April 5- Smallholding attack – Honingnestkrans, Pretoria. Unknown farmer shot in the leg.
April 10 – Smallholding attack – Reint Grobler (51) was stabbed 12 times outside his restaurant and guesthouse when he caught his Zimbabwian worker’s son breaking into his car and he then attacked Reint.
April 10 – Engela Hattingh (34) from Brits was found lying seriously injured under a bench at the soccer field after she went missing 3 days previously. She must have lied there since the Sunday since she was too seriously injured to move. No further details were available.
April 14 – Murder – Amanda Lightfoot (18) was stabbed and died in her car whilst waiting for her boyfriend to come out of the office in Farrarmere, Benoni. The attacker, a black male, only took the vehicle’s keys and an e-cigarette.
April 13 – Murder – Hennie Jansen van Rensburg, a truck driver from Vryburg, was found dead behind his truck on the N12 road in the Carltonville area. He was shot in the chest and was found lying dead behind his truck. His truck earlier broke down and he was waiting on someone to bring him water for the truck. It is suspected Hennie tried to stop thieves stealing from the truck after which one shot him.
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April 20 – Double farm murder – Levubu near Louis Trichardt. Louis (71) and Ina Cloete (60) found burnt beyond recognition in their farmhouse. They had been attacked in the house after which the attackers set the house ablaze, with Louis and Ina still alive at the time. Two young black male suspects were arrested, one a former worker on the farm.
April 21 – Farm attack – Vrede, Free State. Five black male attackers attacked Ben (72) and Rintie van Rensburg in their farmhouse. Rintie was shot in the upper leg and hip. She returned fire and managed to kill one attacker and wound one.
April 24 – Farm attack – Barnardsvlei, Mooinooi, Northwest – Hannes Robbertze (59) was shot in his leg and arm by a number of black male attackers in his farmhouse . He managed to shoot back after which the attackers fled.
April 26 – Murder – The body of Peter Dobihal (78), an Austrian national, was found buried in his backyard at his home in Cresta, Johannesburg. He was reported missing earlier in the month. Four suspects were arrested in Mr Dobihal’s car and they showed the Police where they buried Dobihal . One suspect was Dobihal’s gardener and a female suspect worked in his home. Suspects are Malawian nationals.
April 28 – Murder – Ritchie, Northern Cape – A guesthouse owner of Ritchie in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, Gunther Schwalb (66) who is originally from Germany, was killed on Thursday 28 April 2022, when two young black boys who wanted to steal his car thew a stone against his head.
May 3 – Murder – Oscar Wilson (46) shot and killed and his vehicle hijacked by five black men on the outskirts of the black township of Brits in the Northwest province whilst Oscar was transporting two black workers from a garden service home.