If these two parties can find common ground on this issue, then anything is possible in South African politics: The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) have used their recently-strengthened political mandate to push their stance of farm murders – and it seems some ANC members have been paying attention.
In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald praised both David Makhura and Job Mokgoro – the respective ANC premiers of Gauteng and North West – for acknowledging their concerns with the number of farm murders in South Africa while delivering their State of the Province (SOPA) replies.
ANC leaders acknowledge farm murders
In the financial year of 2017/18, 62 murders and hundreds of attacks against South African farmers and their families were carried out. The issue has long been a thorny one, largely due to a minority of people who look to conflate these crimes with the wholly-false “white genocide” narrative.
But it seems the local branches of the ANC are no longer trying to distance themselves from the political hot potato. Both provincial leaders announced they would be doing more to prevent farm murders in this term of government:
- David Makhura: Said farm attacks and murders “will be treated as a priority in the province”. Suggested introducing a “specialised unit” to protect citizens in rural areas, too.
- Job Mokgoro: Promised to liaise with the police and other law-enforcement agencies “to combat farm attacks”.
FF+ react to potential breakthrough
Underwhelmed by Cyril Ramaphosa’s reply to his second SONA of 2019, Groenewald told farmers to “protect themselves by any means necessary” last week, suggesting the national government “weren’t interested” in addressing the issue: But the FF+ frontman was in a better mood on Thursday:
“The FF+ has long since been advocating the recommendations made by the Premiers, namely that a safety strategy must be discussed with all stakeholders, particularly the police and the farmers so that a feasible plan can be tabled and implemented as soon as possible.”
“The FF+ welcomes these statements by senior ANC politicians and officials because for decades the safety of farmers has been a matter of great concern and urgency for the party. We will continue to put pressure on the government to declare the matter a national priority.”
Both North West and Gauteng have been subject to several farm murder incidents this year alone. In fact, the former province is an FF+ stronghold, and it seems that co-operation will be possible between the right-wingers and the current provincial government. They’ll be hoping to avoid an EFF / DA-style breakdown in the near future, though.
(Source: The South African)