AfriForum’s take on future of whites in SA draws ANC’s ire

2013-05-21 00:00

“WE wanted to humiliate the ANC government on the international stage to put pressure on them to do something.”

So says Ernst Roets, deputy head of AfriForum, in an article published on the BBC’s website titled “Do whites have a future in South Africa?”

“We wanted to pressure the ANC, because nothing is being done about farm murders and poor whites,” he said.

Roets took BBC world affairs editor John Simpson to visit Sonskyn Hoekie, a white informal settlement near Pretoria.

In the piece, Simpson wrote that in South Africa, a farmer is twice as likely as a police officer to be murdered.

“The statistic I gave Simpson was just an estimate. There are no official statistics for farm murders,” said Roets.

He said Simpson asked specifically to go to a white informal settlement.

“They [the BBC] wanted to show the other side of the picture.”

Roets said AfriForum made no distinction between whites and blacks.

“It not us who are doing it, it is the government.”

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said such statements could cause untold harm to the country.

“How can you denigrate your own country like that?” he asked.

He said crime, violence and unemployment did not discriminate and to depict whites as targets was reckless.

“The majority of people living in informal settlements are black. Why didn’t Roets take the BBC to a black squatter camp? It creates a false impression,” Mthembu said.

He said South Africa undoubtedly had many problems.

“We have to work together. This is your country, you don’t have another one. If you don’t want to live here, you should go somewhere else.”

He said whites definitely had a future in South Africa and they didn’t have to live in fear.

“If anyone commits violence towards a white person, he will be prosecuted under our laws. The Constitution protects us all, irrespective of race.”

Mthembu said he would have been ashamed to read AfriForum’s statements.

“I know lots of white people who are proud that they live in South Africa and who feel part of this country and value democracy,” he said.

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