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The Local Boer Community Is Being Discriminated Against, Murdered and Prevented from Making a Living by the Current Government in South Africa — Here’s How You Can Help


(Above: Tens of thousands of bikers rode to the capital of Pretoria Aug. 29 to protest farm murders in South Africa.)

On Friday-Saturday, Sept. 18-19, the annual expansion of the White Cross Monument in Polokwane (Pietersburg), South Africa will take place, commemorating over 2000 farm murders in South Africa since 1990. Singer Steve Hofmeyr will be the guest of honor, who has frequently publicized the fate of the South African farmers.

This year alone, there have been 304 farm attacks and 46 farm murders through Sept. 15, despite a stringent COVID lockdown. In 2019, there were 472 farm attacks and 49 farm murders. In August, 2020 there were 52 farm attacks and 9 farm murders. In July, there were 58 attacks and 9 murders. After the radical far-left Economic Freedom Fighters party under Julius Malema started a hate campaign over an allegedly racist ad by Clicks beauty chain, attacks spiked in September, with ten attacks last weekend alone.

Between 1990 and 2016 The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU SA) recorded a total of 1‚824 Farm Attack Victims. Freedom Front Plus party cites farm murder rates between 97 and 133 per 100,000 people. This rate would make farm murders around three times the national average of 34 per 100,000 people murdered per year. See a Comprehensive list of Farm Murders in South Africa here.

Readers asked how they can help the farmers in South Africa. We recommend following organizations like TAUSolidariteit, and Afriforum, and donating to groups like South African Family Relief Project and Ope Arms. We spoke to Bertus Schwann, head of Ope Arms charity, about the situation of the ethnic Boer minority, which is actively discriminated against by the ANC government’s race-based employment policy “Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment”. The Boers make up about 3 million out of a population of 59 million, but are specifically targeted for discrimination by the ANC government, Schwann says.

Schwann estimates the number of commercial farmers has shrunk from 40,000 in 2011 to around 33,000, of which approx. 25,000 are white and 8,000 black. The situation of the farmers is made difficult by drought, water mismanagement, and the danger of farm murders, but on the whole “the farmers are not desperately poor”, Schwann says.

The poor Boer underclass brought about by 26 years of racial discrimination are “a different matter altogether,” however. Especially around the urban center of Johannesburg, an unknown number of squatter camps of impoverished Boers have sprung up (“plakkerskampen”), which is where Ope Arms works.

“Prior to 1994, when big businesses began to jockey for political correctness in anticipation of the regime, blue-collar Afrikaans-speaking white South Africans have been the primary target when scape-goats have had to sacrifice their jobs to what is known as ‘Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment’ (BBBEE), a form of Affirmative Action. The reason is twofold. Firstly, lower level jobs were the ones that were easiest to hand over to blacks in order to meet quotas and in order to qualify to provide services to any tier of government. Secondly, the Boers represented the old South Africa and apartheid. Therefore, in the new politically-correct zeitgeist employers were so to speak, killing two birds with one stone when they shoved Boer tradesmen and artisans out the door in favor of black employees. So it was then that the lowest class of Boers became an underclass: unemployed and unemployable. That led to the explosion of white squatter camps in which it is speculated – nobody knows for sure – as many as 300,000 whites may now live. The true number is probably closer to 150,000 – being about 5% of the entire Boer nation. It is very sad.”

Schwann has been working to alleviate the suffering of his compatriots since 2000, he says, and founded Ope Arms as a registered Non-Profit Organization in 2016. “It breaks my heart to see my proud people so hopeless and lost. The people in the squatter camps, those living in the back rooms of their relatives’ houses all across South Africa, mostly have no future – and they know it! They know that the South African government will not relent in its pursuit of affirmative action as a staple policy of the state. They know that in their lifetimes they are unlikely to find proper jobs – more especially in a faltering economy. They know that they will never be the beneficiaries of generous loans for entrepreneurial purposes even though, in the main, they possess superior skills to those of the preferred races . They know that their children will never receive the educational preferences enjoyed by black children. They know that they will never be the recipients of European Union largesse when it comes to smart Adult Education-type training courses. Therefore, I do what I can to alleviate their suffering by co-ordinating food relief, donations of blankets and clothing, occasional counseling services, Bible distribution, and access to certain medical services.”

Unfortunately, the despair that pervades the white squatter camps does lead to anti-social and destructive behaviour, Schwann says. “Therefore, we avoid giving money and similar material items that can be traded for cigarettes and alcohol.”

While the charity is currently focussed on temporary relief, they hope to one day shift their attention to scholarships for promising children, adult vocational training, and business start-up financing.

Explaining why Ope Arms focuses on white squatters, usually Boers, Schwann explains: “In much the same way that a man who pays his children’s school fees but not his neighbour’s children’s school fees is not motivated by hatred but by love for his own, we too choose to reach out to our nation: the people closest to us, the people with whom we share a language, culture, history, and identity. We are no more motivated by hatred or exclusion than the Jewish Chevra Kadisha, the Muslim Beit ul-Aman, or any one of the numerous Zulu or Xhosa tribal socio-cultural initiatives.”

The stringent COVID lockdown has “caused irreparable damage” to the South African economy, Schwann says, what President Cyril Ramaphosa called “the total destruction” of the economy. “You can imagine for yourself how many jobs have been lost over the past four months. Needless to say, the first to go, and the last to recover their jobs, are low-paid white workers. Furthermore, the poor whites in the squatter camps who scraped a meager living from casual labor and hawking have been totally prevented from obtaining any income. Conditions are dire and we are fretful for the future: it is surely going to get worse as the cascade effect of past four months is felt more and more. We don’t know where to turn.”

Asked how international supporters can help, Schwann says “, more than anything, we require funds. We do not lack people willing to assist. We do not lack targets for our efforts. We have more than enough experience, so we do not lack training or education. We lack the financial resources to adequately serve the needs of our lost and hopeless brothers and sisters. Other than financial help, all we as a Christian people can ask for is prayer and, of course, raising of awareness.”

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