15:42 GMT18 May 2021
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    Gruesome farm attacks all over the “Rainbow Nation” continue, with white farmers being targeted by criminals; several NGOs are calling for international attention to the problem.

    According to Dan Roodt – the founder of the Pro-Afrikaans Action Group (PRAAG), in addition to being targeted by outright criminals, Afrikaners are also suffering from cultural and other forms of discrimination.

    Sputnik: Your organisation has been trying to convey the message from Boers and Afrikaners to the world for over 20 years now. In 2019 you delivered an emotional speech at the MENF (Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom) conference in Brussels dedicated to the political situation in your country. Has anything changed in the life of Boers and Afrikaners since then? Have any of their problems been resolved?

    Dan Roodt: Well, not much has changed since then, if anything the situation got worse; we are still suffering from the farm murders and the acts of violence directed against us, as well as cultural and linguistic discrimination.

    In the recent few months, they've spoken about phasing out Afrikaans completely at the universities, officially at the University of Stellenbosch – the oldest university in the country, which was founded in the 19th century by us. It’s almost unheard of in contemporary history that a people should suffer as much as we are and be discriminated against, contrary to most of the principles of international law and the laws of modern civilisation.

    Sputnik: Since you’ve mentioned farm murders: at least two disabled people – one from KwaZulu-Natal, and another one from Free State province were killed in April of this year, both were white, just like almost all other farm attack victims. Are we dealing with regular crime here, which is a big problem for your country, or are these hate crimes? Are the authorities doing enough to protect the Boer and Afrikaner minorities?

    Dan Roodt: No, they are not doing enough at all. In KwaZulu-Natal the person was in a wheelchair, a 46 year old farmer, and he was paralysed from the waist down because he was shot 20 years ago in another farm attack. Now he was murdered in a wheelchair. Not only do we have these attacks, it seems that the authorities are actually on the side of the attackers. Just over the past week, we’ve had another incident on a farm, when some ex-workers came in and attacked the farmer, and they actually grabbed a pistol from him, and they shot at him, and other farmers shot back and killed two of them. Now the farmers are being arrested for murder. But before the shooting started they’d assaulted some of the farmers, one had a fractured skull, and he was very seriously injured. We've also have other cases where farmers have been accused and where the judges and the magistrate have given them very heavy sentences when they were not even guilty. And then it takes years to appeal that if you’re lucky enough, and the court of appeals gives them a proper sentence. The criminal justice system is also aligned against us, and on the side of these farm attackers and murderers.

    Sputnik: Last year Afriforum – a civil rights organisation that protects the interests of Afrikaners, received a special UN consultative status. It’s known for judicial action, for patrolling farms, for media campaigns. If Afriforum becomes a political party – would many people in South Africa support it?

    Dan Roodt: Yes, I think a lot of people would support it. They have a lot of members, too. But as far as I know, they’ve said they don’t want to become a political party. And in a sense we've been checkmated as far as the political system is concerned, because the provincial boundaries have been drawn in such way that we are always in the minority – it doesn’t matter where we live, and no matter where we live, we will always be in the minority and we will always be outvoted. 

    ​The same goes especially for the municipalities, where they’ve redrawn the municipal boundaries in such a way. It’s called “gerrymandering” in the United States. And they gerrymandered all the wards in such a way that we always lose, except for the Western Cape, which is the only province where there is some semblance of order and proper government. I’m actually down in the Western Cape at the moment, and it’s just extraordinary – the difference that you see between this part of South Africa and the rest. In Johannesburg, Pretoria, all over, you see the roads are full of potholes, there is litter on the streets, it's dirty, nothing is working properly, there are all sorts of problems with water purification systems, with sewage, and so on. And then you come to this part of South Africa, and it’s almost like being in Germany or Sweden – everything is so neat. So the whole country could look like that if only we had a proper government.

    Sputnik: Western Cape has a strong separatist movement. Does this movement – the one that wants to establish an independent Republic of Western Cape, have a lot of potential?

    Dan Roodt: I think it does, yes, because increasingly people are fleeing the rest of South Africa, either they emigrate out of the country completely, or they are moving down to the Western Cape, because they can see that this is still a functioning part of the country, where things are still organised and clean and honest. 

    ​We have also had the Zondo commission in Johannesburg because of all the corruption. South Africa has now become one of the most corrupt countries of the world, where the people in the government are stealing from the state all the time. They're literally putting money in handbags. They've also run the national airline into the ground, they completely bankrupted it through corruption and mismanagement. So, we lost our airline, which was one of the oldest ones, and the most well-run ones in the world, and it’s gone, it’s over. 

    Tags:
    attacks, criminals, minorities, South Africa
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