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15 Jun, 2018 13:25

Calls to ‘kill the Boer’ make all farmers targets, not just whites – South African official

Calls to ‘kill the Boer’ make all farmers targets, not just whites – South African official

Calls to kill Boers in South Africa are directed against farmers of all races, not necessarily whites, according to the head of the agriculture department, Mike Mlengana.

“That is not the stance of our government... by the way if it is ‘kill the Boer, kill the farmer,’ it’s killing me, because I am the Boer,” said Mlengana, as quoted by News24 TV channel. “Boer means farmer… When they say kill the Boers, they are not just talking about whites, they are talking about farmers,” Mlengana said.

‘Boer’ is the Dutch and Afrikaans noun for ‘farmer’ and also denotes the descendants of the then-Dutch-speaking settlers in southern Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, descendants of the Boers are also referred to as ‘Afrikaners’ – a South African ethnic group descended from predominantly Dutch settlers.

The question about the chants to “kill the Boers” was raised by minority rights group AfriForum. According to AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets, South Africa’s governing party, African National Congress (ANC), and radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party chanted the slogan recently at their gatherings. There were 74 farm murders and 638 attacks primarily against white farmers in 2016-17, AfriForum said.

One of the ways of stopping the violence is giving land back to the South African people, Mlengana said. White farmers, despite being a minority in South Africa, own 72 percent of the country’s farms.

Member of Parliament and leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (a far-left black nationalist political party) Julius Malema said, “white people in South Africa were most safe” and “untouchable.” Malema told South African broadcaster eNCA that white people should come to the table and be “willing to share” or face “anarchy.” His party has often been accused of being racially nationalist in nature and calling for black supremacy.

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