Agri SA has announced that it will not participate in the march against farm murders on 25 November, which has been organised by AfriForum.
Dan Kriek, Agri SA president, told Farmer’s Weekly that after consulting with the association’s 25 commodity organisations and nine provincial organisations, it was decided that the #BlackMonday march had already created sufficient awareness of farm murders.
“Even farmers told us they felt #BlackMonday created enough awareness and was a strong and inclusive show of opinion. Farmers were especially upset that the day was politicised from various fronts. They are now adamant that Agri SA does its work and takes responsibility to redefine rural safety structures,” Kriek said.
However, others had expressed disappointment that Agri SA was not participating in the march. While Kriek said he understood why some felt this way, Agri SA was still committed to fighting farm murders.
“We are all appalled by farm murders, and want to manage the situation so farm murders can stop,” he said.
Farmer’s Weekly had previously reported that Agri SA had met with the South African Police Service (SAPS) several times and organised partnerships to fight rural crime, which had been interpreted by some on social media as Agri SA showing weakness.
“Our striving for a good relationship with SAPS is not a sign of weakness. We need moderate opinion across all walks of life in South Africa,” Kriek explained.
The AfriForum march will commence at 10:00 on 25 November. Protestors will march from the Pretoria Art Museum on the corner of Francis Baard and Wessels Street and will move towards the Union Buildings.
At the time of publishing, Farmer’s Weekly could not get hold of AfriForum.
While an Afriforum press release had said that the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), Cope and the DA were participating in the march, the FF+ has confirmed that it will not be participating.
However, the DA has confirmed that it will be participating, while Cope could not be reached for comment.
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