Ok, my opinion on this.
Firstly the stats used to refute Steve’s claims come from an article published on Africacheck by Julian Rademeyer, and whilst I applaud her efforts at being unbiased, I will say the stats are questionable. Sampling, Which was used to reach Julian’s figure of 1.8% of the white population having being killed since 1994 (http://www.africacheck.org/reports/are-white-afrikaners-really-being-killed-like-flies/#sthash.kyJ1I6yz.dpuf) has been shown time and again, to be unreliable. I cite the following from wikipedia:
“In the USA the 1936 Literary Digest prediction of a Republican win in the presidential election went badly awry, due to severe bias . More than two million people responded to the study with their names obtained through magazine subscription lists and telephone directories. It was not appreciated that these lists were heavily biased towards Republicans and the resulting sample, though very large, was deeply flawed.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_(statistics)).
This concern regarding errors is highlighted in information further up on the Wikipedia page on Sampling for Statistical purposes:
“Sampling errors and biases are induced by the sample design. They include:
Selection bias: When the true selection probabilities differ from those assumed in calculating the results.
Random sampling error: Random variation in the results due to the elements in the sample being selected at random.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_(statistics)).
In considering point 2 in the above reference, the question would need to be asked, how was the selection of these murder dockets chosen, where were they relative to populations and so on.
In order to reach an opinion on the stats available, I have calculated, based on the following citation from Rademeyer’s article “According to Lancaster official police statistics show that between April 1994 and March 2012 a total of 361 015 people were murdered in South Africa. Applying the 1.8% figure, it would mean that roughly 6,498 whites have been murdered since April 1999“ (http://www.africacheck.org/reports/are-white-afrikaners-really-being-killed-like-flies/#sthash.kyJ1I6yz.dpuf), that when converted to a murder rate per 100 000 of each racial group, considering a population growth rate of 32 % for permanent resident Black South Africans and a population growth rate of 2.2% for permanent resident White South Africans (http://www.statssa.gov.za/Census2011/Products/Census_2011_Census_in_brief.pdf & http://www.statssa.gov.za/census01/Census96/HTML/default.htm), we reach a total of 313 722 Blacks being killed in that period, and 6498 whites being killed as mentioned above.
By converting these amounts to a ratio of murders per 100 000 of the specific racial group, we find that 784 Blacks per 100 000, were killed over 18 years and a total of 141 Whites per 100 000. Year for year, simply put, 361 Whites are murdered whilst 17 429 Blacks are murdered a year. If we consider population growth rates, then the black murder rate can be considered to have increased, or its propensity for likelihood (Again Sampling is roughshod), by 32 % since 1994. This would propose that in 1994, 11 851 Blacks were murdered compared to 17 429 in 2012. Whilst among Whites the number of murdered would be 8 persons less than in 2012. So in 1994 an average of 353 Whites would have been murdered, whilst in 2012 it would be 361. Given as a percentage of their populations, it means that in 1994, 0.038% of the Black population was murdered and in 2012 it increased to 0.0425%. An increase of 0.0045%. Amongst the White population we calculate the percentage of the murdered White population to be 0.00802%, and in 2012 it is 0.0000802%, Which means there was a decrease of 0.0079398% proportionately in the murder rate of Whites. One last consideration I have is that if we were to take these figures and average them out to a national murder rate per 100 000 per year, we get something in the line of 40 murders per 100 000. This calculation coincides with the given average murder rate of 42.7 per 100 000 nationally in 2003/2004 (http://www.mrc.ac.za/crime/cvi_second_review_ch7.pdf, p.134).
I have included this crazy comparison of calculations to show that either way, more Blacks as a percentage of their population are murdered, as echoed by the Africa check page which says, and I quote, “Whites are far less likely to be murdered than their black or coloured counterparts,” Lizette Lancaster, who manages the Institute for Security Studies crime and justice hub, told Africa Check. This is supported by an analysis of a national sample of 1378 murder dockets conducted by police in 2009. In 86.9% of the cases, the victims were Africans. Whites accounted for 1.8% of the cases (although whites make up 8.85% of the population”. (http://www.africacheck.org/reports/are-white-afrikaners-really-being-killed-like-flies/#sthash.kyJ1I6yz.dpuf).
However, again we have to bear in mind that the validity of these figures rests solely on a myriad of factors, such as, where and when, by whom etc. There is no doubt in my mind however that more Blacks are victims of crime and murder in our country, and that the evidence for this is found in the fact that more crime occurs in South Africa’s Townships than in it’s Suburbs (http://homesecuritysite.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/top-crime-burdened-locations-in-the-western-cape/). In this case the Western Cape is clear cut, murder rates are all far higher in townships than in suburbs. And as we know, a considerably higher percentage of White South Africans live in suburbs. The trend is only reversed when it comes to robberies, where suburbs start coming into the picture, with suburbs like Table View where I live, having one of the highest robbery rates in the Western Cape. In this case Parow, Bothasig, Durbanville and Mitchells plain are the other high scorers. All in all, the cause behind the “Red October” group loses weight when considered from a purely statistical vantage point, and regardless of the discrepancies in the calculations, I would say that the Black population is the most heavily affected group along with Coloureds to be affected by crime and murder. Let us also not forget that most Whites live in suburbs or permanent shelters that have relatively better security and protection than those of people living in townships. Automatically this reduces our propensity for being victims of crime related acts. It does not however reduce or remove the perceived threat felt by those living in these dwellings.
However, in light of all this, what has not been included in this study is a measurement of the level of violence and acts of hatred that go with the murders taking place. Regardless of how many murders take place, the details of these murders have the ability to inflate the perceived effect of murders on the white population where they are coupled with acts of extreme violence and racial hatred. I am not an expert on just how many acts of murder perpetrated against whites, are saddled with acts of racial hatred. But, what I will say is that amongst the White community, for those who have heard of and have friends or relatives that were murdered or were victims of Black on White crime, the details are pretty much the same. In this case we are not focussing on the murder of people per se, we are focussing on the level of torture endured by them before they were murdered.
The perception is rife, that when Whites are murdered by Black criminals, they are all the more horrific by the level of racial hatred the assailants have for their victims. I personally knew of a couple who were murdered in my hometown of Widenham on the South Coast of Natal in 2001, where the murderers stabbed the elderly man and lady hundreds of times, raped the old lady, wrote on her chest, white whore and then cooked and ate food in the kitchen where they had killed the elderly couple. This is what all those fears and bad dreams are based on. The media however, never reports on the details of such crimes, creating the impression that it was, “just another murder”. Over the years I have heard countless stories that parallel this or are worse in their details.
The point again, is that the level of racial hatred involved in Black on White murders is what has perhaps driven people like Steve Hofmeyr and his followers to try and get the attention of the world and our government. Unfortunately for their sake, they have jumped on the wrong band wagon.
The propensity for race based crime is what drives fear into the hearts of White South Africans, and denying this will only open you up to horror of it should it ever happen to you. I myself experienced this firsthand, when in 2007, whilst in the Spur in Amanzimtoti, we were thrown into an armed robbery situation, where 8 black males entered the restaurant, told us all to get on the floor, mothers with babies included, whilst they escorted three black couples out of the restaurant, using respectful terms like “baba” and “mama”, before they continued their attack on us. Obviously those black couples alerted the police and I am sure none of them agreed with what happened, but the very act of it by the criminals was meant to impart to us remaining whites that we were the target and that it was their desire to humiliate us. A lady friend of mine, who was lying in front of me on her stomach, was 8 months pregnant at the time, and because one of the criminals could not get her cell phone out of her back pocket, he pointed his rifle at her head and stood on her back. I could not grasp how one human could do this to another, and so I lifted my head and asked him how he could do this to another human being, he proceeded by running at me and ramming my head into the ground. Luckily I have a hard head. More than that I am lucky I wasn’t shot. Anyway, for about two months after that I was shell shocked and once even hid under the counter at a Standard Bank when I saw a Black male security guard escorting a money box with a rifle in his arms.
Now I understand the realities behind all that happened, and I know that there is no conspiracy to wipe out all White South Africans by the government and Blacks in general, I also understand that similar acts occurred during apartheid, only with the roles reversed, but most importantly, I understand that this kind of thing has occurred through out history and will continue to do so, so long as the cycle of vengeance can continue. And as much as I love history, history is the fuel of its own destructive fire. Its cycle and vengeance is always carried out and continued by the worst of our kind, regardless of which race group they belong to. Ultimately, I don’t believe we can ever completely change our habits.
So where does this leave our “Red October” group?
Firstly, I do not believe that the reasons they are giving for their protest action, are truly at the heart of what they are doing. I believe that their reason is inspired more by a resurgence of White identity in South Africa. Evidence for this lies in the comments made by Steve Hofmeyr in his response to the shoddy facts cited by him, “Far more than facts, it is people’s emotions and experiences that matter … So ‘our people die like flies’ is still applicable, emotionally – and does not need to be supported by facts.” (http://www.africacheck.org/reports/are-white-afrikaners-really-being-killed-like-flies/#sthash.kyJ1I6yz.dpuf).
My question is, where else in society have we heard similar kinds of unfounded reasoning when it comes to race based arguments? Have we not seen the same kind of reasoning in Julius Malema? Whilst I detest Julius Malema, I will agree that he does echo the true feelings of many poor and nationalist Black South Africans. He is the voice that is not shrouded in political correctness, and rings true to the feelings of many who identify with him. In the case of Steve, we see the same kind of voice arising. His growing presence and activities do not merely reflect a feeling by Whites that they are being murdered unfairly because of their skin colour as is highlighted by Red October, his organisation reflects a growing identity or re-emergence of White consciousness. What strikes me as interesting is that this voice is not specifically Afrikaans, as it used to be. It seems to represent Whites as a whole, both English and Afrikaans, perhaps an obvious occurrence resulting from the shifted polarity in South African Politics. Steve’s growing voice amongst White South Africans is in contrast with the AWB, which will continue to serve only the extreme right wing White communities. Steve’s stirring to action is in my opinion less radical than both Julius Malema and the late Eugene Terreblanches’, and because of this, it stands a greater chance of being successful.
It does not help national unity, when at Heritage Day celebrations, Whites choose to call it Braai day, and the Deputy President harks on about how bad the whites were. Automatically the young generation of whites feels excluded, unwanted and unwilling to show their support for any government activities. The situation is quite cancerous, and whilst the youth achieves a limited degree of racial cohesion in the social arena, at home there is still a greater division than there is unity. Whilst nationalism amongst separate groupings does nothing for national unity, it is, I believe a human condition that we cannot simply overwrite. People, regardless of their academia, will resort to emotional thinking when things get heated. Unless of course they have truly shifted their identity, as some manage to achieve.
Yes, I am not a fan of Steve Hofmeyr, simply because he has ripped off the English a couple of times, and he represents the “Boer Seuns” that treated me badly when I joined the Air Force, and whilst I wouldn’t choose him as my leader, I understand his sentiment, I also understand the growing demand for an identity by young white South Africans. They want to be able to say they are proud of who they are again, they want to jump up on tables and sing “De La Rey” from the bottom of their hearts. Even I, a “Soutie” Jumped on the Tables in my drunken state and sang it full volume.
I knew that the song was actually against the English, but the truth is, its words were not specifically aimed at reigniting hatred between the English and the Afrikaans for yet another generation, well if it was I have a few words for old Bok, but on the ground level in my opinion, it represented a voice. A voice for the young White South Africans who don’t quite know where they fit into the New South Africa. This song didn’t care how much of a right we had to have a voice, it simply gave us a voice. What did that voice call for you might ask, well nothing in particular, I think it merely made us feel like we belong again, collectively.
Perhaps heritage in this country therefore needs to take on a new out look, one that prevents the wrong kind of elements from heeding the calls of those who want their voices and identities both heard and seen, or perhaps South Africans will just keep on fighting other things more pertinent to their immediate daily lives, like the growing cost of everything and forget about who they are.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.