Farming is not merely another way of making a living in Boer society: it is part of who the Afrikaner-Boer people of South Africa are. The agrarian lifestyle of the Boers has played a central role in the development of the Afrikaner people, culturally, linguistically, and economically, over the past 200 years we have existed as a separate ethnic group. Nearly all Afrikaners, even the largely urbanized youth of today, have ancestors who made a living from agriculture not more than two or three generations ago. The name “Boer” is actually the Afrikaans word for “farmer” and, when the name of the people is translated, we are the “farmer nation.” This mere title is a clear indication of how big a role farming plays in our culture.
Furthermore, rural populations are generally influenced to a lesser degree by the propaganda of the cultural Marxists, and tend to hold to more traditional, conservative values. This isolation from the liberal propaganda-machines of the post-French Revolution era, where secular humanism reigns, has played a major part in enabling Afrikaner-Boer people to preserve their faith and heritage over the past two centuries. Of course, this isolation has oftentimes been overemphasized, and the influence of Liberaldom on the Boers of the 19th century is undeniable, since the ideas of the French Revolution are reflected in the constitutions of both the major Boer republics of the 19th century.
All the people in southern Africa rely heavily on the white farmers in South Africa for food production. The country’s agricultural industry also serves as the driving force behind many other secondary and even tertiary industries, in addition to stabilizing rural areas through (e.g.) creating jobs. Food security is the cardinal element to any country’s economic sustainability, and one of the primary responsibilities of any government is to promote the well-being of its agricultural industry.1 Proof of the critical importance of agriculture to economic development is the examples of Western governments: agricultural and fishery subsidies form over 40% of the EU budget,2 and 62 cents of every dollar that American farmers earn comes from some form of government aid.3 While I am all for a protectionist approach to the agricultural industry, this ridiculously high rate of government subsidies could drastically be reduced if American farmers didn’t have to pay as much income and property tax.4 Nonetheless, South African farmers, while being the backbone of the country’s economy and having an economic influence much greater than the official GDP indicates, receive no government subsidies whatsoever. My father, a cattle rancher, all-in-all pays more than 50% of his income to taxes. An example of this deliberate attempt by the government to economically ruin farmers is the fact that, according to a 2004 law on property tax, farmers have to pay an additional tax on means of production (the soil) that is unique to all economic sectors in South Africa. The country also has one of the highest levels of taxes and levies on fuel, especially diesel, which is an especially oppressive measure to the grain-farming industry.5 Another oppressive law implemented by the socialist government is the national water law of 1998, which practically nationalized all water in South Africa.6
Yet, farmers are not only facing an economic battle, as the extent of the Marxist government’s ideology goes far beyond economic socialism. During the Transvaal Agricultural Union and Afrikaner Civil Rights group AfriForum’s court case against Julius Malema earlier this year, Professor Christiaan Bezuidenhout, a criminologist, told the equality court that it is “much more dangerous to be a farmer in South Africa than a police officer.” He further noted that farm murders in South Africa are on average 700 times higher than in the rest of the world.7 The case occurred because these two Afrikaner organizations took Malema to court for his singing “dubula iBhunu” (the “Shoot the Boer” song) as a means of promoting “land reform,” a.k.a. Marxist nationalization. The TAU and AfriForum actually won the case against Malema, but I was utterly disappointed when TAU’s lawyer came out after the verdict and stated that the singing of this song “would never have been tolerated in the Madiba-era.”8 This was said, despite Nelson Mandela himself singing the song.9 Furthermore, shortly after the verdict, Malema said that farmers should give up 80% of their land, because then they will not longer be attacked. In doing so, he explicitly connected farm attacks to acquiring land. Within a few days of his statement, yet another brutal murder of a farmer occurred near Ottosdal in the Northwest.10 After being re-elected as youth leader of the ANC, the TAU raised its concern in a media statement about Mr. Malema’s continued efforts to “create a climate conducive to land invasions and attacks on farmers.”11 Apart from the fact that thousands of Boer families are being wiped out for no reason (other than the ideals of black pan-African Marxism), the way in which the murders are being committed is very disturbing. Recently, for example, a farmer in my home province was stoned to death, while his wife and 84-year old mother was brutally assaulted.12 It’s a well-known fact, even though it is largely ignored by the mass media, that black-on-white murders, mostly coming in the form of farm attacks, have reached genocidal levels in South Africa.13
According to the government’s official “land reform” policy, 30% of all agricultural soil within the borders of South Africa has to be under black ownership by 2014. And there have recently been some threats by officials, like Gugile Nkwinti, that if white farmers were unwilling to cooperate with this theft, and if they refused to accept the offer they receive (often very much less than the property’s actual value),14 then more drastic steps might be taken, and Zimbabwe-style land-invasions might take place on a large scale in South Africa as well.15 This year, there have already been isolated incidents of blacks invading white farmers’ property.16 Should this land-reform process continue to proceed, not only will white Afrikaners be robbed of property that is historically rightfully theirs, but the oversight of large quantities of agricultural soil by incompetent black farmers will lead to a catastrophic food crisis in the region.
On top of all of this, sheep farmers and cattle ranchers have to deal with the imminent threat of animal-theft and arson committed either by their black employees or by unemployed black vagabonds moving through the area. In the past thirteen months, nine cattle have been stolen from my father’s ranch alone, but even reporting such thefts to the police is of no avail, due to great corruption in the South African Police Service.17 Even if they were not corrupt, their inability to effectively handle the situation would make them useless — and that’s not even mentioning the time and money that would go to waste if a thief were to be caught and my father was called up to witness in another prolonged court case in South Africa’s failing judicial system.
Despite all of these threatening and discouraging developments, attempting to completely annihilate the white farmers in South Africa, we have the blessed assurance that God is truly sovereign over all of His creation, and that He “works all things according to his counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). He holds His children safely in his hands. Therefore, with our eyes on the returning Messiah, we can find comfort in His absolute sovereignty and the promise that He will never test us above our abilities. This, however, also necessarily means that we must speak out and act appropriately against these grave injustices, ultimately for His glory.
- http://www.tlu.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64:voedselsekerheid&catid=35:standpunte ↩
- http://ec.europa.eu/budget/budget_glance/what_for_en.htm ↩
- http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/daily-mix/for-us-farmers-subsidies-the-best-cash-crop/article1813425/ ↩
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_States ↩
- http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=28121& ↩
- http://www.tlu.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67:ekonomiese-volhoubaarheid&catid=35:standpunte ↩
- http://www.tlu.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=192:to-be-a-farmer-more-dangerous-than-to-be-a-police-officer&catid=36:jongste-nuus ↩
- http://188.8.131.52/argief/berigte/volksblad/2011/05/24/VB/2/jkMalemaSlotbetoeDag2_1726.html ↩
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcOXqFQw2hc ↩
- http://www.tlu.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=197:kondoneer-zuma-plaasmoorde&catid=36:jongste-nuus ↩
- http://www.tlu.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=204:grondbesettings–land-invasions&catid=36:jongste-nuus ↩
- http://nolstuijt.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/farmer-thinus-uitenweerde-stoned-to-death-reitz/ ↩
- http://cofcc.org/2011/06/black-on-white-murders-reach-genocidal-levels-in-south-africa/ ↩
- http://www.landbou.com/nuus/nuus-artikel/grond-stryd-gaan-woed-oor-vergoeding ↩
- http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Grondbesettings-kan-kom-waarsku-adjunkminister-20110607 ↩
- http://www.landbou.com/nuus/nuus-artikel/grondbesetting-krap-boere-om?quicktabs_2=2 ↩
- http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Polisie-het-my-verkrag-20091027 ↩