Family farmer resolution against farm killings

The World Farmers’ Organisation agreed to report Saai’s family farmer resolution against farm killings and the poor security situation in the South African countryside to the United Nations.

The World Farmers’ Organisation adopted resolutions in 2015 and 2017 in which the world’s agricultural leaders pledged their support and sympathy to South African farmers as victims of incited violence. With the launch of the United Nations Decade of Family Farmers in 2019 in Rome, reference was made to the impact of farm killings and expropriation without compensation on the sustainability of agriculture in countries such as South Africa, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Eastern Congo and Northern Nigeria.

The EFF’s incitement to violence against farmers through the chant “Kill the farmer, kill the Boer” and their repeated refusal to commit themselves not to unleash genocide on farmers in future continues to make headlines internationally.

Julius Malema’s statement that the EFF is not calling anyone to kill farmers, “at least for now”, but that it cannot be ruled out in future is a thinly veiled threat. The EFF’s incitement to violence against farmers, its barely veiled threat and the escalation of farm murders have compelled Saai, as a network for family farmers network, to go beyond local remedies to stop it.

In 2019, against the background of the United Nations Decade of Family Farmers, Saai began to draw the attention of the United Nations to the dire security situation in rural South Africa with its family farmer resolution. At the time, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court had not yet found in favour of the EFF’s chant “Kill the farmer, kill the Boer”. While AfriForum will continue to pursue the case in September in the Supreme Court of Appeal and then probably in the Constitutional Court to exhaust local remedies, Saai focuses on other mechanisms in the United Nations, European Union and other multilateral institutions, including the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), to act against the toxic climate created for farm attacks.

Although Saai actively participates in and contributes to hundreds of farm guards, camera systems, radio networks, emergency centres and response teams to combat farm attacks, the decisive factor for survival is a prepared individual on each farm who will be ready and equipped to repel an attack immediately until the neighbours, farm guard, security services or police arrive. Nothing can trump or replace personal resilience.

Saai’s initiatives to create a greater awareness of farm attacks locally and internationally are aimed at putting pressure on the South African government, and especially the security forces, to recognise the problem and implement the rural safety plan. Saai demands, among other things, that action be taken against those who incite and applaud farm murders.