White farmers in South Africa are planning to flee the nation after the government announced plans to take their land without compensation, which brought about a justifiable fear of white genocide as murders of farmers has skyrocketed since the announcement.
The hostility against whites has increased along with the rise in power of South Africa’s Communists.
The motion to confiscate the land was brought by Julius Malema – the leader of the radical Marxist opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters – passed by a wide margin of 241 votes to 83 against.
This month, MPs from the ruling African National Congress backed a motion calling for white-owned land to be seized, prompting farming unions to warn of a repeat of the land grabs in Zimbabwe, after which agricultural production collapsed.
President Ramaphosa has insisted he will not make the same mistakes as Zimbabwe but farmers are deeply uncertain of their future, prompting the younger generation to either emigrate or leave family farms for jobs in cities, reports The Times.
One specialist at a Johannesburg company arranging emigration to Australia said there had been a surge in inquiries. “We’ve had a huge number of calls,” he said. “No one quite understands what is happening with land reform but it’s the uncertainty that makes them finally decide to go.”
Emigration by white South Africans has been increasing for several years because of racially-charged government rhetoric and erratic governance that has wiped millions off pensions and savings. Official statistics show that the white population declined from 4.52 million in 2016 to 4.49 million in 2017. Most of those emigrating were aged between 25 and 29 and their most popular destinations were Australia, the UK and the US. At least 112,000 are expected to emigrate in the next five years.
Meanwhile, the Australian reports that South African farmer Gert du Plessis grew up on, farmed and inherited a 2000ha spread in Eastern Transvaal, and like most Afrikaners, he felt bound to the land and the black workers he employed to help him grow corn and raise cattle.
“I had been there all my life, I was on that farm for 50 years,” Mr du Plessis told The Australian yesterday.
What happened to fellow farmer and friend Thys Boshoff gave him second thoughts.
“The people just got into the place and got some money, and when he didn’t open the safe, they just shot him dead,” Mr du Plessis said. “Then they ordered his wife to open the safe, but she didn’t have a key, so they shot her hand off and left.”
Mr du Plessis and his family moved to Australia three years ago to avoid the fate of the Boshoffs — getting out ahead of the terror now being exacted on white farmers at an alarming rate. One or two are reportedly being murdered every week.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said this week the growing violence against white farmers, whom he described as persecuted, had impelled him to ask his department to see if it could come up with ways to receive more of them as migrants to Australia, including under the humanitarian “in-country persecution” visa category.
The South African government yesterday issued a reply denying it was persecuting anyone, and expressed “regret” that Australia had not raised the matter through diplomatic channels. “There is no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a section of South Africans is under danger from their own democratically elected government,” the foreign ministry said.
Mr du Plessis said the South African government was “politically correct in saying they don’t persecute the farmers in South Africa,” but that was just through a sleight of hand. “When there is a farm attacked, they don’t see it as a farm attack, they put it down as a robbery, and say ‘unfortunately there were people killed in the robbery’,” he said.
The problem, Mr du Plessis said, was that while the government did not approve of illegal takeovers of white land because it would produce anarchy, its policy of forcibly appropriating such land without compensation encouraged it.
“It is not safe for a white South African to farm in South Africa,” Mr du Plessis said.
In his case, a group of black men who worked for him camped outside on the lawn one morning. “They said they want the property,” Mr du Plessis said.
“I just told them the property is mine, and they must leave. So I called the police. They came only to protect them from me.”
He and his family felt persecuted, and decided to get out. In 2015 they moved to a farm they have leased near Uki in northeast NSW, where they run cattle. They came on a business visa because they had the money and experience to start an enterprise, but since then, their fate in obtaining permanent residency has varied among them.
The Australian spoke with several Afrikaners who had migrated to Australia and had lost family on farms, and some still in South Africa. They welcomed Mr Dutton’s initiative. It was heartening to see “Australia reaching out to our farmers,” said Sonja van Niekerk from her dairy farm in Northwest Province.
Ms van Niekerk is the principal of a school with 800 black children, and said “we have very good relations” with the community. “We are peaceful people, we don’t carry guns,” she said,
But that didn’t stop a group of blacks a bit over a year ago from attacking her husband Johan with knives, leaving him among other serious injuries with damaged vocal chords so he has difficulty speaking.
“It is a miracle that he is still alive,” Ms van Niekerk said.
Asked what had happened in the way of arrest or prosecution of the suspects, Ms van Niekerk said: “Nothing.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk