Farmers and relatives of murdered farmers laid flowers at a memorial fountain, which was built in 2002. Kwanalu president Robin Barnsley said tensions arising from the slow pace of land reform were leading to heightened emotions in rural areas.
“This has two consequences – namely, an escalation in violence and, secondly, ill-informed reactions by policy makers attempting to accelerate what is perceived to be a failing programme of policy implementation.”
Barnsley said that since the coming to power of the current provincial government, two critical forums in the land-reform process had been allowed to fall by the wayside: the Provincial Land and Agrarian Reform Forum (Plarfo) and the Rights Violation Monitoring Committee, which were both established to resolve tensions arising from the land-reform process.
“The consequence of this neglect is a ‘pressure cooker’ of emotion in rural areas which has potentially lethal consequences, not to mention a marked downturn in economic productivity in those areas, all of which will impact on food security,” explained Barnsley.