Disarming victims makes no sense  

By Dr Theo de Jager

Few matters offer stronger evidence of how far the ANC is removed from reality than Minister Bheki Cele’s attempts to abolish self-defence as motivation for possessing a firearm.

Since the ANC’s rise to power in 1994, a farm is attacked every two days on average, while a farmer or a member of his family, a guest or farm worker is murdered every five days. Being a South African farmer is viewed all over the world as the most dangerous job: As an innocent person, your chances of being tortured or even killed are greater than in any current war, law enforcement or terror campaign.

As the latest farm murders confirmed again the past week, the ability to shoot back is crucial in order to survive a farm attack. Every research report, all data and every victim who survives a farm attack emphasise the fact that farmers and their families must be able to defend themselves, as well as that firearms should be at hand and ready, and that they should know how to use these effectively. Bheki Cele’s blatant attempts to disarm have no scientific basis, but rather unmask a dark political agenda.

The tragic story of farm murders in South Africa actually starts with the ANC itself. The late Peter Mokaba, leader of the ANC Youth League in the early 1990s and later Deputy Minister in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet, popularised the singing of Kill the farmer, kill the Boer! at mass events of the party. The ANC has since never been willing to condemn the song or to distance itself from it. The ANC purposefully created the attitude in which the terrible phenomenon of farm murders has evolved.

Just like with the EFF’s mass processions in Senekal after the murder of the young Brendan Horner in October 2020, the SAPS refuses to do anything to inciters who, even in the current volatile situation, still like to sing Kill the farmer, kill the Boer! – neither against the thousands of posts on social media that welcome and even encourage the inhumanly violent torturing and murder.

In the early 2000s the ANC abolished the commando system – the cornerstone of the rural safety system – amid great concern for the increasingly bleak farm attack statistics. This decision was initially based on the empty promises that the functions of the commandos would be replaced by a comprehensive rural reservist system, but nothing came of this.

Fifteen years later, the plan for rural safety is yet to be implemented.

Official data on farm attacks has been kept under the hat through the years, but the crucial, reliable monitoring by a number of civil organisations undid government’s secrecy in this regard. Despite widely published statistics on farm attacks, Pres. Ramaphosa still refused to acknowledge the phenomenon at the UN in New York in 2018.

The SAPS knows that it neither has the capacity nor ability to turn the shocking farm attack figures around. It even conceded that reaction times in the deep rural areas are ineffectively slow. Moreover, the disappearance of firearms from police stations – by SAPS officials themselves – remains shockingly high: about 2 200 per year over the past 12 years. The SAPS cannot account for more than 10 million bullets. According to their own statistics no one has put more weapons and ammunition in the hands of violent criminals than the SAPS itself. Yet the senseless drive, led by the Police Minister himself, to disarm farmers continues.

Across all fronts, various civil organisation are fighting the ANC’s attempts to render victims of violent crime defenceless. Parliament and courts are but two of the obvious arenas, and the conventional as well as social media must be inundated with protest against Cele’s attempts. Saai’s campaign was reported on by 20 of the world’s largest media groups, including Sky News, CNN, BBC, Washington Post and Deutsche Welle. The ANC has lost the moral high-ground in the matter.

In Northern America and Europe, the fate of South African farmers is defined in terms of three main themes: 1) expropriation without compensation, 2) farm murders and 3) the senseless disarming of victims – and the ANC does not have a good story to tell.

In the meantime, farmers must survive and keep their families, workers and farms safe. They must organise themselves into farm watches in a bid to execute the most basic functions of the state: the protection of citizens. To achieve this, they must be armed to protect themselves. When there is no alternative to protect your home, farm and family, it is dangerous and unwise for government to fiddle with legal firearm licences.