Farm murders and double standards – a tale of political shame; Herbst

Double-standards and criminal neglect of those who fill the breadbasket of our country – all driven by an outright racist, retributive agenda can be the only explanations for government ignoring incessant brutal farm murders now making headlines overseas, writes Ed Herbst. Not only that, the South African government’s actions on the international stage have turned us into what a Washington Post headline some eight years ago already described as ‘The Despot’s Democracy’. Herbst outlines the fulsome reasons why Naspers’ European Correspondent, Leopold Scholtz, says he’s ashamed of his South African leaders and then proceeds to hand the pen to his colleague who updates us on the latest tragic and horrific farm murder of a couple of would-be Dutch emigrants near Barberton. Scholtz also does a quick reprise of what the Dutch papers are currently writing about South Africa – and it’s not pretty. Mark Heywood, a battle-hardened AIDS activist who pitted the wits of the Treatment Action Campaign and the AIDS Law Project against former President Thabo Mbeki and beat him and his AIDS denialists hands-down, adds a stirring and eloquent poem about State arrogance in the face of all this. The trio of writers combine to create a literary bombshell. Only this kind doesn’t kill people – just hopefully shocks them awake. – Chris Bateman

By Ed Herbst*

South Africa has actively blocked United Nations discussions about human rights abuses in Zimbabwe – and in Belarus, Cuba, North Korea and Uzbekistan. South Africa was the only real democracy to vote against a resolution demanding that the Burmese junta stop ethnic cleansing and free jailed dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. In the General Assembly, South Africa fought against a resolution condemning the use of rape as a weapon of war because the resolution was not sufficiently anti-American. – Michael Gershon Washington Post 28/5/2008

The Despot’s Democracy’ was the headline on Gershon’s Washington Post article eight years ago and I wonder what he subsequently made of the fact that, six years later, the Beloved Country suffered the ignominy under an ANC government of having a Nobel peace summit cancelled because it denied the Dalai Lama a visa.

Veteran journalist Ed Herbst

Or that, seven months thereafter, the African National Congress invited Sudanese war crimes criminal Omar Hassan al-Bashir to this country and then, while lying to our country’s courts, ensured his safe departure again. And that, as an encore, they tried to withdraw South Africa from the International Criminal Court in violation of the Rome Statute.

‘When you are ashamed of your leaderswas the headline recently on an editorial page article in Die Burger by Dr Leopold Scholtz, the European correspondent for Naspers who is based in Holland. I have translated it into English.

The article discussed the reaction in Holland to the latest farm murder of a Dutch national Peet van Es, a 55 year old farmer in Barberton who had decided to return his home town near Rotterdam precisely because an African National Congress government seems utterly indifferent to the danger he and other food providers face.

Nobody, in my subjective opinion, more personifies that indifference than ANC MP Derek Hanekom, a farmer himself and a renowned feminist.

Hanekom maintained a stoic silence when:

  • Three year-old Wilmien Potgieter was shot in the back of the head at point blank range in December 2010 on their Lindley farm, this while her mother’s throat was being slit on the 11th anniversary of her marriage to her murdered husband Attie who succumbed to 151 stab wounds. To celebrate this, their murderers left a note written in Sotho on a piece of cardboard saying “We have killed them. We are coming back”. I can find no evidence that farmer Hanekom or the ANC ever condemned these murders.
  • The blood of 86-year old Rachel de Villiers was used by her murderer to write a satanic message on the walls of her home on their Barkly East farm in October 2013. The primitive savagery of her murder, which made headlines as far afield as China, evoked only silence from the ANC and farmer Hanekom.
  • When, in March last year nine year old Kayla Meyer and her mother Marietjie (46) were killed on their Doornfontein farm. (The Democratic Alliance issued a statement condemning the murders but the silence from the African National Congress in general and from farmer Hanekom, the renowned feminist in particular, was to be expected. The victims were white, were they not?)
  • When Ester Kidson (69) still in a wheelchair after a hip operation, died after her throat was cut on their farm near Westonaria in January this year.
  • When, just a few weeks later Nicci Simpson (64) had holes drilled in her feet in a six-hour ordeal which Rapport aptly called a ‘modern crucifixion’. (The Democratic Alliance issued a statement condemning the bestially-depraved barbarism of her torture but the silence from the African National Congress in general and from farmer Hanekom, the renowned feminist in particular, was to be expected. She is white, is she not?)

In a previous article, I challenged Hanekom to produce any evidence he could find of equivalent brutality since the coming of democracy by white civilians against black people. He did not respond because he could not respond. There is, despite the ritual demonisation of white South Africans by the ANC, no such evidence.

Former Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom

If nothing else the derision which greeted the claim by Jacob Zuma that the tens of thousands of protestors who marched to the Union Buildings on his birthday were racists showed that nobody is buying the tawdry wares of Race Merchants like Derek Hanekom anymore. South Africans of all colours and creeds want efficient service delivery and an end to corruption, not anti-white rhetoric.  In Cape Town, Tony Ehrenreich who never distanced himself from a call for whites to be burnt to death and who once claimed that if the ANC came to power in the province he would impoverish as many white civil servants and their families as possible, is a forgotten man. For the past three years the Cape Times has been stoking the racial fires and trying to undermine the Democratic Alliance with fake news but the circulation figures of this once-revered newspaper continue to decline as the number of people voting for the DA in the province continues to rise. The Cape Times has not, to my knowledge, carried an editorial about farm murders since the Sekunjalo takeover three years ago and it does its best to ignore them.

We must, though, credit farmer Hanekom’s feminist credentials. While remaining silent about the murders of Wilmien and Wilna Potgieter, Rachel de Villiers, Kayla and Marietjie Meyer and Ester Kidson and the torture of Nicci Simpson, he did condemn the unspeakable evil of those Pretoria Girls High School teachers who inflicted appalling emotional trauma on the black pupils whose hair styles they so despicably criticised. Furthermore, the distress of the parents of those meticulously-coiffed schoolgirls in Pretoria must greatly exceed the sense of bereavement of the kith and kin of the slain Wilmien Potgieter and all the other women and girls who have perished in like manner on our farms.

Not so, farmer Hanekom?

We know where to find farmer Hanekom, the feminist who writes articles attacking Penny Sparrow while remaining silent about the murder of white women and girls on farms. He has indicated that, unlike his fellow ANC MPs such as Mcebisi Jonas who have resigned from parliament, he intends to batten on the citizen’s shilling for as long as he can.

Where you won’t find farmer Hanekom is in quiet contemplation at the White Crosses Monument on a farm near Pietersburg. The crosses commemorate the victims of farm murders in South Africa. There are more than a thousand crosses there and almost half of those crosses represent elderly people. Most of the victims those crosses represent were murdered after the Mbeki admiration disbanded the efficient commando farm protection and then  reneged  on a promise to replace it with a system of equivalent efficacy – as the hundreds of farm murders thereafter testify.

Should we, though, be surprised by the ANC’s deliberate and calculated silence on the murder and torture of white farming couples and their children, murders which, in their targeted and sadistic barbarism, are without precedent in any peacetime country anywhere in the world in the past century?

I would argue not and I suggest that this has to be seen firstly in the context of the people the African National Congress chooses to support and to be associated with:

  • People like Omar Al Bashir, accused by the ICC of five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war, and three counts of genocide.
  • People like the Lockerbie bomber Muammar Gaddafi, who slaked his sexual lusts on teenagers and the women in his employ as the research by French journalist Annick Cojean and others reveal. Unsurprisingly, given the ANC’s adulation of him, Gaddafi chose this country as one of the destinations for his peculated trillions and rumour has it that he made a couple of ANC Big Vegetables very wealthy indeed. Strangely enough, his subjects did not share the ANC’s admiration for him. In their frenzied, long-suppressed anger they beat him to death in an appropriate theatre for his demise, a ditch. Thereafter they queued in their thousands for days to gaze with cathartic exultation at the body of the man who had violated their children and oppressed them for so long. As if to assure themselves that he really was dead and would persecute them no more. Their euphoria was not shared by the Despot’s Democracy.

Secondly the silence by the ANC about farm murders should be seen in the context of the ANC’s antecedents which, as a matter of historical record, define where it has come from and where, seemingly and if given the chance, it would like to take us:

  • Quatro, the last place and time when the ANC enjoyed the untrammelled hegemony upon which the glorious National Democratic Revolution is predicated. Quatro where murder and torture were routine and where the sexual harassment of women was commonplace
  • The Shell House massacre where, on 28 March 1994, from the safety of the upper floors of the building, ANC members – unjustifiably as the Nugent Commission found – poured a withering hail of gunfire into members of the IFP in the street below, killing 19 of them. Without consequence. It is not an anniversary which you will see or hear mentioned on the broadcasts of the state broadcaster which nevertheless devotes endless airtime to other anniversaries such as Sharpeville.
  • The agonisingly slow  and avoidable deaths of a third of a million people as a result of the HIV-Aids policies of former president Thabo Mbeki’s government, something for which he has never apologised
  • The Marikana massacre where 34 miners were killed, some of them in cold blood while holding their arms aloft in surrender, murders for which, almost four years later, nobody has stood trial
  • The entirely avoidable Esidimeni catastrophe which is attributable to the normal African National Congress contemptuous arrogance combined with the scarcely believable ineptitude of its vulturine cadres.   

As Mark Heywood, in justifiably savage condemnation, put it:

Behind your dark tinted windows and beneath your blue lights – you knew.

Behind your conceit and arrogance – you knew.

Behind your factory for excuses – you knew.

Behind your once noble histories and sacrifices – you knew.

Behind the prostitutes you paid to sell fake news – you knew.

We know you knew. Because we told you

Here, as the Zuptoids take the Beloved Country down the Concrete Parachute Route and South Africans from all walks of life take to the streets to express their anger and their sense of alienation, is my translation of the above-mentioned article by Dr Leopold Scholtz:

When you are ashamed of your leaders

By Leopold Scholtz (Die Burger 13/4/2017)

The murder of a Dutch farmer on a farm in the Barberton district has suddenly put farm murders sharply under the spotlight in the Dutch media. But even without this incident, President Jacob Zuma has been the object of ridicule in the Netherlands with his name being synonymous with corruption and the abuse of power.

Last Friday evening Peet van Es (55) and his wife, Arine Prins (from Schiedam, close to Rotterdam), were held up by three masked robbers on their farm in the Barberton district. For five hours the robbers assaulted and tortured them, even attempting to rape Prins to force them to tell them where they kept their money.

Van Es was eventually stabbed to death with a knife during the struggle.

The irony is that the couple was on the point of returning to the Netherlands having lived in South Africa for 18 years. Their tickets were booked for a flight the following week.

Many Dutch news media – newspapers, websites, radio stations and even the local Rotterdam television station – gave prominence to this incident. The question of farm murders was suddenly placed on the radar screen of the average Dutch citizen.

De Volkskrant, a quality newspaper which focuses on the upper echelons of the reading public in Holland, carried an interview with Afriforum deputy chief executive Ernst Roets, who recently issued a comprehensive report on farm murders.

According to the article victims were regularly tortured with garden forks or drills before being murdered, and rape was also commonplace.

With more than 18 000 murders per year (50 per day) South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world, according to the paper: ‘The murder of farmers is even more loaded since white groups suspect a political motive to be behind this,’ the newspaper commented.

Roets said crime in general was on the increase in South Africa but so too was propaganda against white farmers. The farmers felt that politicians were failing them.

‘Much is done to combat poaching, copper wire theft and violence against women and children, but the murder of farmers receives no single priority. Farmers are instead used as scapegoats by those in power,’ Roets said.

The AD, (Algemeen Dagblad) whose target readers are the slightly less educated section of the population, quotes figures from the Transvaal Agricultural Union which cite 70 farm attacks this year alone. Since 1998 nearly 2 000 white people have been murdered in farm attacks.

The bad publicity in the Dutch media also highlights Zuma’s corruption and abuse of power.

In the other quality paper, NRC Handelsblad, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor relates how the Gupta family at their home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg offered her a ministerial position if she would see it to that their airline got a monopoly on flights between South Africa and India.

The newspaper’s correspondent in South Africa, Bram Vermeulen, mentions that Zuma has hundreds of corruption charges hanging over his head and quotes Mentor as saying that Zuma bought protection from the mighty Guptas. She says: ‘In 2007 the Guptas financed his campaign to become party leader (and later president). From Mandela’s time they had been trying to influence the ANC, but Thabo Mbeki always prevented it. Zuma feels indebted to them. He is vulnerable.’

Her words hit hard. ‘Zuma has surrounded himself with people who are just as corrupt as he is. Corruption is the tie that binds them. They are in the same boat.’

South Africa is seldom in the news in the Netherlands, but when it does happen, it involves crime or corrupt politicians. This article in the NRC Handelsblad is typical. One is ashamed of your own country’s leaders.

  • Ed Herbst is a retired veteran journalist who writes in his own capacity.
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