Afriforum takes swipe at Cele

BY CHARL BOSCH - JANUARY 14, 2015

Civil rights group, Afriforum, has criticised Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele for misleading South Africans on the seriousness of farm murders, after an interview in which the minister denounced the killings as racially motivated.

“Instead of recognising the need to prioritise the prevention of farm murders, false claims of racism are being made,” Afriforum’s Deputy CEO, Ernest Roets, said in statement on the group’s website.

“The reality is that the majority of farmers murdered are white. Regardless if the murders are being committed simply because of this or racially motivated is pure speculation at this stage. We are however aware that black farmers and farm employees have also been killed during attacks.”

Roets also stated that government continues to look at farm murders through race-tinted glasses and that Afriforum had written to President Jacob Zuma to highlight the trend of killings amongst black farmers, adding that the group does not distinguish between black and white.

“Simply put, the prioritising of the prevention of farm murders does not fit in with government’s political agenda,” Roets said.

“If government uses the necessary resources at their disposal correctly, and displays any form of political leadership, only then would farm murders stop. In this case however, the opposite is taking place. Farmers are being treated like political punching bags while snotty comments are being made at those wanting farm murders to be taken seriously.

At a media briefing on Monday, Cele stated that the murders cannot be classified as racially motivated.

“We are urging everybody, starting with the media and everybody - take the race issue out of farm murders,” he said.

“Whether they are white, black, yellow, green or purple, we have seen farmers coming under attack and we treat it as such.”

 

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