The silent crowd slowly marched through the streets of Ghent. Locals peered from their windows once they heard the drum beat and the police were nearby, stopping traffic in front of the parade.
"They are killing white people, they are abusing them for hours before they get help" – says Ilse – "Nobody deserves that."
It’s not coincidental that the help for South Africa’s white minority is coming from Belgium. The Flemish say there are serious reasons for them to protect the Boers in their time of need.
"We have a long common history, since a lot of South Africa’s farmers originated from Belgium and The Netherlands" – says NSV Antwerp spokesman Otto van Malderen. – “We speak almost the same language, and also at school we are taught about the culture of South Africa’s Afrikaners."
Even though, according to the organizers of the march, South Africa’s government refuses to admit that the assailants target primarily white farmers and their families, the statistics may prove otherwise. According to reports published by Africa’s independent fact-checking organization Africa Check, 1,544 people were killed in farm attacks in South Africa between 1990 and 2012 and only 208 of those murdered were black.
NSV activists say that it’s hard to see the full picture, since South Africa’s government tries to hide the information about the true scale of the “farm murders.”
"There are a lot of numbers, but they are put away as ‘unreliable’, since the government doesn’t want to publish the official numbers anymore, since the last couple of years" – says Otto van Malderen. – "So we are getting all the numbers from the Transvaal and other non-official sources."
According to Belgium’s Foreign Affairs service, for many years South Africa has been one of the country’s main trade partners in the Sub-Saharan part of the continent, especially in diamonds, energy and port sectors. And according to Belgium’s nationalist youths, this fact should be taken into consideration by the Belgian government. The NSV says that government officials should finally talk to their South African counterparts about the farm murders. And that, together with media attention, may eventually help in preventing such crimes in the future.