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#BlackMonday a huge success, say protesters

Thousands of people dressed in black had earlier gathered in parts of Pretoria, the Vaal and Krugersdorp and barricaded highways with tractors and cars.

Family members of murdered Klapmuts farmer Joubert Conradie are comforted during an address at a protest against farm murders. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Most of the protesters who had gathered in support of the Black Monday movement have now dispersed.

Thousands of people dressed in black had earlier gathered in parts of Pretoria, the Vaal and Krugersdorp and barricaded highways with tractors and cars.

They say attacks on farmers are spiralling out of control.

Supporters who gathered at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria say that Monday's protest was a huge success.

Johan Fourie says that today's protest is the start of many.

"The next gathering is an AfriForum gathering on the 21 November. We're having a march from the Arts Museum up to the Union Buildings."

Police say that they will maintain a watchful eye on protesters until everyone has dispersed."

Earlier, the Black First Land First (BLF) called on South Africans not to support the protest against farm killings but instead to mourn the thousands of workers who are still slaves on farms.

The group claims that farmers have turned farms into zones of violence for black people.

Farming communities across the country are protesting this morning against a lack of policing, severely affecting traffic.

Motorists complained of severe traffic disruptions around Pretoria, the Vaal and Krugersdorp.

The movement was started in Cape Town by a group called Enough is Enough after the murder of farmer Joubert Conradie on his farm earlier this month.

Earlier this morning, Midvaal Mayor Bongani Baloyi received a memorandum from the protesters.

“It’s an issue across South Africa. I think our local farmers are starting to feel it as well and they also calling on police to do their role in trying to stop these killings in South Africa,” Baloyi said.

Lobby group AfriForum has given its backing to the protest.

The group’s Thomas van Dalen says: “Food security should be a matter of national priority. Every farmer that’s murdered in his farm creates a chain reaction.

“The first link in the chain reaction breaks, suddenly thousands of are out of food due to a farmer that was taken out of the food supply chain, as well as farmers that leave their farms out of fear for their lives.”

According to the group, there have been 70 fatal attacks on farmers since January.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has warned protesters to be peaceful, adding that action will be taken against those who threatened to blockade roads with trucks and tractors.