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Nigel Branken: #BlackMonday not for all living on farms

Nigel Branken says he won’t participate in the campaign until the dignity of all people living and working on farms receives equal recognition.

Protesters gather at the Taal Monument in Pretoria on 30 October 2017 in support of the Black Monday movement highlighting farm murders in South Africa. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – While lobby group AfriForum has said its Black Monday protest against farm murders was successful, some have taken to social media to lambast the group for not highlighting the plight of black people who are victims of violence on farms.

Many have pointed to the case of Tebogo Ndlovu who was last seen alive on a Mooinooi farm in August when he was allegedly shot by Matthew Benson.

In his Facebook post, Nigel Branken says he won’t take part in the Black Monday campaign until the dignity of all people living and working on farms receives equal recognition.

Branken says it’s important to take into context the history of race and power dynamics on farms, adding that atrocities against black workers on white-owned farms have been wildly uncovered.

"As a white South African, I can't stand by and allow this racist narrative to be perpetuated."

He says the abuse of black workers is not uncommon, referring to the case of Ndlovu, who was allegedly shot for stealing oranges on the farm.

Branken says he expects some backlash for voicing his views, but it’s a price he’s willing to pay.

WATCH: Farmers gather at Voortrekker Monument for #BlackMonday

At the same time, the Black First Land First (BLF) called on South Africans not to support Monday's 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.

OTHER FARMING COMMUNITY CASES

Last Friday the High Court sitting in Middelburg sentenced Theo Jackson to 14 years and his accomplice Willem Oosthuizen to 11 years.

The pair attacked Rethabile Mlotshwa, forced him into a coffin and threatened to set it alight.

The 2016 crime was caught on camera and circulated around the world.

In Lichtenburg, Jaco du Plooy faces one charge of murder and two counts of attempted murder after shooting into a crowd of people who had been protesting near Sukran earlier this month.

Fifteen-year-old Joseph Tshukudu was declared dead on the scene, while two others were wounded.
Du Plooy is out on R20,000 bail.

In Coligny, Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte allegedly caught Matlhomola Moshoeu stealing sunflowers from a farm in April.

They claim they were driving him to the local police station when he jumped off their bakkie, broke his neck and died.

But an eyewitness alleges that he was pushed off.

Doorewaard and Schutte were granted bail of R5,000 each, a move that resulted in violent protests in the area.

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque & Pelane Phakgadi

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