Farm killings not genocide, says Ramaphosa


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa denied claims that the murder of some farmers in South Africa was ethnic cleansing.

He wrote in his weekly letter to the nation on Monday, days after the violence that followed the killing of Brendin Horner, a white farm manager in the Free State province.

Enraged white farmers stormed the local police station in search of the black suspect.

Property, including a police vehicle, was destroyed.

“Contrary to the irresponsible claims of some lobby groups, killings on farms are not ethnic cleansing,” Ramaphosa said.

He added, “They (killings) are not genocidal. They are acts of criminality and must be treated as such.”

“Those people who think that farm attacks affect just a small part of our population are wrong,” Ramaphosa said.

“The claim that violent crime on farms is part of an orchestrated campaign by blacks to drive white farmers off their land is simply not borne out by fact.”

The president said numerous studies showed that crime in farming communities was largely opportunistic.

“Rural communities are more vulnerable because of their isolated location and, as a result, the relative lack of access to security and other services,” he said further.

Ramaphosa called for the harmonious race relations in farming communities.

“Unless this is addressed in an open and honest manner, unless we are prepared to engage in dialogue, this will remain a festering wound that threatens social cohesion.”

The skewed land ownership patterns in South Africa are a legacy of apartheid.

– CAJ News

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