A group of South African expats in the UK have asked for protesters not to bring racist banners, slogans and agendas when they gather in London on Saturday 4 November.
The peaceful action against attacks on farmers and their families in SA is set to be held in front of the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square – and comes in the wake of ugly scenes during this week’s nationwide #BlackMonday protests back in South Africa.
Several photos and videos emerged of apartheid-era flags being flown at demonstrations, causing uproar on social media and with one protester, named as Odette van Rensberg, going so far as to claim she “felt protected under the apartheid flag.”
Afrikaans civil rights organisation Afriforum also called out police minister Fikile Mbalula for his supposed lack of interest and action on the subject, after he failed to specify figures on farm attacks during his annual crime statistics presentation.
In a press release, the expats have attempted to strike a conciliatory tone ahead of the gathering, albeit with harsh words for the South African Police Service. They said:
“We acknowledge the ongoing racial dispute regarding the fact that the affected farmers are generally of white descent and the implications thereof.
“We acknowledge that farmers should be held to accountability on issues such as
working conditions for their staff. We acknowledge various other related issues including but not limited to land reform, a stagnating economy, job security, food security, corruption in government, and a generally inept and insufficiently trained and resourced police force.”
They also included statistics, credited to Afriforum: “recording 357 [farm] attacks and 74 murders between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.”
The group, who intend to hand over a memorandum to a representative of the SA High Commission, plan to begin their protest at 10.30am on Saturday.
Date: Saturday 04 November 2017
Time: 10h30am to 12h30pm
Location: Pavement outside the South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DP.
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