October 30th, 2017. In South Africa, Black Monday. A day when many of the country’s citizens donned black clothes and stood in solidarity against the heinous farm murders taking place in our beautiful country. Yes, I did attend one of many gatherings held all over the Republic. The message is clear. The violence must stop. Now, many of you know me in person, but for those of you who don’t, I like to be a bit of a Devil’s Advocate.
And, before I any of you decide to stone-, waterboard-, bury- alive, or burn me at the stake, I categorically state that I do believe in the cause. But farm murders are not the only problem our country faces. There is a ridiculous amount of violence against particularly (but not limited to) women and children, committed not only by adults either. Just this past Saturday I was told of a young female teacher who is being targeted by her male students, and another incident of a second- grade little boy being sexually assaulted by three other boys a year old than he. Every year there is a whole month dedicated to Awareness of Violence against Women and Children, yet the statistics continue to rise.
Earlier this year, almost the entire country just about came to a standstill to march against the state president, because he is not doing his job. There is proof of corruption and collusion with a very controversial family that subsequently left South Africa when things got too hot to handle, rape (yes, despite the activism against violence against women and children, our state president ignored a young woman’s right to say No! #RememberKhwezi) If you’re in the dark about what I’m talking about, read it here. Again, he’s still in office, with a cabinet of ministers that he has reshuffled for the umpteenth time since January.
I believe in the Collective Voice, but I’m also a realist. The only hope for South Africa (and other parts of the world too) is a Divine Intervention. The problem is that as a country we are divided – because of racial-, cultural-, gender- and religious differences (to name but a few). Until we really stand together long-term against the system that is failing us, we’re merely a few needles in a colossal haystack.
And it’s with the haystack analogy that I come back to the farmers – without them there will be no food (or milk), no jobs for the farm labourers (nor shelter for those fortunate enough to receive housing on the farms), increased import costs (because we will have to get produce from somewhere). In short, it is going to set us back and put us on par with our African neighbours who really have nothing to show for ‘righting the wrongs of the past’ except barren land and empty store shelves.
Image from SABC