Protest against ‘slaughter of

Protest against ‘slaughter of whites’ in South Africa heads to London

The Red October group plans to protest outside South Africa House, Trafalgar Square against the ‘oppression and murder of white people’ in South Africa and for the protection of their ethnic minority rights.

Protest against ‘slaughter of
red october
Facebook: Red October

A PROTEST outside the SA High Commission in London against the ‘oppression’ and ‘slaughter’ of white South Africans will be one of several international demonstrations by campaign group Red October on Thursday 10 October.

On that day, the group plans to march and release red balloons across South Africa and cities in New Zealand, Australia and USA to demand the protection of their ethnic minority rights ‘as enshrined in the SA Constitution’.

“We are tired of corrupt governance, racist Black Economic Empowerment and affirmative action policies,” the group said in a statement on its website.

“We can no longer be silent about the brutal torture of the elderly and defenceless people of our ethnic minority.

“We can no longer tolerate the destruction of our infrastructure, our filthy government hospitals, our pathetic education system, uninhabitable parks and public areas, dangerous neighbourhoods and filthy streets,” it claims.

The group also wants to be in charge of its own education system and wants the South African government to provide a safe environment for all — among other demands in its constitution.


Although the term “genocide” is not used by Red October, the reasons for the protest are part of the greater debate about whether white South Africans are being killed because of their ethnicity.

Last year a protest against ‘Boer genocide’ held alongside a Freedom Day celebration in London made headlines when an ANC member taunted the protesters with the words, ‘Kill the Boer’.

The United Nations defines genocide as “Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Most of those who believe a white genocide is taking place in South Africa think its battleground is on South African farmland.

Approximately 87% of farmland is owned by the white population, despite plans to redistribute 30% of it after apartheid, Genocide Watch reported in 2012.

While the government describes farm attacks as simply part of the bigger picture of crime in South Africa, white farmers believe it is a campaign to drive them off their land.

According to Johan Burger, senior researcher of the crime and justice programme at the Institute for Security Studies, there is in fact a lack of accurate statistics regarding farm murders.

Flikr: Mark & Gideon
Flikr: Mark & Gideon

National priority

In 1997, the South African government, realising the importance of farms for food security, launched a joint task force to protect farms from being uniquely targeted for political reasons, including race.

This team launched the rural protection plan and in 1999 farm protection was upgraded to national priority. With this upgrade came yearly statistics on farm attacks and murders, which gave an in-depth view of the number of crimes being committed.

In 2003, a committee launched by the minister of police found that 89.3% of attacks were motivated by robbery, with little evidence implying they were racially motivated. As a result, then-president Thabo Mbeki stopped the protection initiatives, ending the publication of annual statistics, Burger explained.

How safe?

The effect of this absence of statistics on expert opinion is clearly seen in news reports and crime analysis. For example, John Simpson told the BBC in a report that white farmers are twice as likely to be murdered than police officers in South Africa.

He was investigating whether white South Africans had a “future” in the country.

“Working-class white people, most of them Afrikaans-speakers, are going through an intense crisis.

“But you will not read about it in the newspapers or see it reported on television because their plight seems to be something arising out of South Africa’s bad old past – a past which everyone, black and white, would like to forget.

“It seems to me that only certain parts of the white community really have a genuine future here: the better-off, more adaptable parts,” he added.


However, Lizette Lancaster, project manager of the Institute for Security Studies claims that “whites are far less likely to be murdered than their black or coloured counterparts.”

This was supported by an analysis of 1,378 murder dockets completed by the South Africa police in 2009. They found that 86.9% of the murder victims were black and 1.8% were white, despite white people making up 8.85% of the overall population.

“The fact is that whites are less likely to be murdered than any other race in South Africa. The current murder rate of white South Africans is also equivalent to, or lower than, murder rates for whites recorded between 1979 and 1991 [during apartheid],” reported Africa Check although the Transvaal Agricultural Union claims that farm murders have increased by 34% to 68 deaths last year.

Burger told The Telegraph that in 2011 there was a murder rate of 31.9 per 100,000 people, 30 times higher than in Britain.

The murder rate for police officers is 51 per 100,000, but the murder rate among farmers is even higher, at 99 people killed per 100,000.

But Burger does not believe this high murder rate is politically motivated.

“The perception [in South Africa] is that farmers are all rich, and these criminals know the vulnerability of these remote farms, and so they see it as relatively low risk,” he said.

However, he believes some attackers may “take out their hatred for all those past wrongs, and show who’s in control now”.

Driving force

Aside from the statistical aspect of this debate, for any genocide to take place there must be a driving force.

In Rwanda it was the Hutus, in Bosnia’s Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims it was the Bosnian Serbs and in Uganda it was Idi Amin.

Genocides do not just happen by accident, so if it is happening, someone must to be masterminding it.

According to The Telegraph, farmers claim their attackers are inspired by the apartheid song ‘Shoot the Boer’which has been publicly sung by President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema.

Zuma has made it clear he believes the murders of white farmers are not racially motivated but a part of South Africa’s bigger crime problem.

Malema, the former ANC Youth leader and now head of the new party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), was ousted by the ANC  for singing ‘Shoot the Boer’, which resulted in a court case.

Some farmers say Malema is sparking the genocide, especially after the controversial EFF constitution called for the “expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution”.

However, on Thursday Malema denied to News24 that a genocide would ensue if land-grabbing took place and warned farm owners not to trust the ANC as he predicts a violent uprising.

“Anger is boiling inside. One day, people will rise and claim the land and it will not be controllable,” he said.

National Priority

Lobby group Afriforum have called on the government to class farm attacks as a crime of national priority.

The group handed a memorandum to the police minister urging him to give these murders the same attention as rhino poaching and cable theft.

The police minister’s spokesperson said in reply, “They are only representing people based on their colour. For us, racialising crime is problematic. You can’t have a separate category that says, farmers are the special golden boys and girls. You end up saying the life of a white person is more important. You cannot do this.”

Afriforum are now taking the issue to the UN.

Red October was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.

What do you think? Is there a white genocide in South Africa? Comment below.