Analysis

Are there attempts to mobilise the US to attack South Africa? An open letter to Afriforum

By Tiisetso Makhele

Dear Afriforum

Your organisation not only welcomed, but claimed responsibility for US President Donald Trump’s ludicrous tweet about South Africa, land reform and alleged farmer attacks. This conduct by your organisation is a profound admission from yourselves that you have not only misled the US about South Africa, an independent nation state, but have also practically mobilised US, a known global military and economic bully, to attack South Africa.

To me, this amounts to acts of treason on your part. By deliberately distorting facts about South Africa, you have committed the crime of betraying your own country. What does Afriforum stand to benefit from this betrayal? What do you stand to reap from a political, military or economic attack on South Africa?

I ask these questions knowing very well that you are not obliged to respond to me. I know very well that, being a Non-Profit Organisation, you are different from a political party. You serve nobody’s mandate but yourselves. Be that as it may, as a South African citizen, who is concerned about his country and its future, I have a right to ask these questions. Let me take some moment to indicate to yourselves why I accuse you of treason, and of actively mobilising US to attack South Africa.

The distortion of land and farm seizures

Your organisation has misled the US President about the country’s approach towards land reform. The remark that there are land and farm seizures in South Africa is nonsensical, to put it mildly. In instances where there are land grabs, they are treated as criminal acts, and some of our people have been arrested in this regard. Your attempt to make South Africa, a country with laws and policies, to look like a puppet state is unfortunate. It is, in the actual fact, a betrayal of the country and its people.

In its presentation to US President, your organisation must have failed to remind him that since 1652, the indigenous inhabitants of this country had been disposed of their land, mineral resources and livestock. Your organisation forgot to remind Trump that Europeans used the barrel of a gun to steal land from African people. Your organisation further failed to mention that currently, White South Africans, who are in the minority, own most of the land in South Africa.

According to the Land Audit Report, commissioned by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, whites own 72% of the land, coloureds own 15%, while blacks, who constitute 79% of the population, own a mere 4% of the land. Doesn’t your organisation find this a bit odd? Is your organisation happy about this gross injustice? Does your NPO share the vision of a united, free, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist South Africa?

Your organisation also failed to inform Trump that South Africa is currently holding consultations on land reform, in an attempt to remedy the anomaly I mentioned above, and that organisations like yours have been offered to make representation at the platforms created by the democratic system. Let me remind you that South Africa is a democracy. Political parties contest elections and participate in Parliament. Your organisation does not have a mandate. You must register a party and contest elections, so that you can represent your members in Parliament, where laws are made.

The myth of White Farmer genocide

In your interactions with the US President, you seem to have sold him the ludicrous hallucination of a genocide against white farmers in South Africa. This myth, which only exists in your imaginations, has potential to divide South Africa, as well as to agitate fascist bullies like Donald Trump and his aggressor US regime to attack South Africa.

Let me remind you that, since its establishment, the US has participated in numerous acts of aggression against other nation states. The US has removed democratically elected leaders on nation states, and installed its own puppet regimes. Is this what you want in the case of South Africa?

The South African murder rate is a cause for concern to anybody. Losing the life of any South African must be a headache to us all. No single murder, or any form of crime for that matter, must be used to fuel divisions amongst South Africans, or to mobilise aggressors to attack our country.

According to official data from Statistics South Africa, 75% of victims of crime incidents, including murder, are Black Africans, while 14% is White South Africans. The data above states without a splinter of doubt that White South Africans, whether in farms or elsewhere, are the least likely to be murdered as compared to other racial groups. The propaganda your organisation relayed to the US was wrong, and has potential to further divide South Africans along racial lines.

Conclusion

Whilst I respect the role to be played by your organisation, as necessary civil society grouping, I must warn against you involving yourselves in matters which have a potential to harm the sovereignty of South Africa as a nation state. Land is an emotive issue which has serious political and historical connotations. It is my honest advice that your organisation apply caution, emotional intelligence and sensitivity when dealing with the issue of land.

The majority of South Africans, Africans in particular, are landless for historical reasons known by yourselves. Whilst you may want to protect the selfish interests of your Board members, you must be sensitive of the potential impact of being clumsy in your approach to this sensitive issue. It is common knowledge that the issue of land can easily plunge this country into civil war.

You are also urged to avoid undermining the country’s international relations protocols, as well as cordial people-to-people relations that South Africa has with many countries of the world. More importantly, you are urged to immediately stop discussions with erratic individuals like the President of the USA. I know that your ego may not allow you to listen to the words of caution contained in this letter, but I plead with yourselves to stop your reckless shenanigans and work with other South Africans to build a better country.

Makhele is an African Marxist and a member of the ANC in Mangaung Region, Free State. He writes in his personal capacity

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