In perhaps the most Orwellian statement of the day, the head of South Africa’s radical Marxist opposition party - who declared his party was "cutting the throat of whiteness" - called Australia a "racist country" for offering fleeing white farmers a refuge.
As we have detailed previously, last month, South Africa’s parliament voted in favour of a motion, brought by the EFF and supported by the ruling African National Congress, to begin the process of expropriating white-owned land without compensation.
As Simon Black noted, this is likely to end badly.
That’s exactly what Zimbabwe did.
Seeking to correct similar colonial and Apartheid-era injustices in his country, Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe initiated a land redistribution program in 1999-2000.
Thousands of white-owned farms were confiscated by the government, and the farmers were forced out.
Bear in mind that Zimbabwe used to be known as the breadbasket of southern Africa. Zimbabwe’s world-class farmers were major food exporters to the rest of the region.
But within a few years of Mugabe’s land distribution, food production plummeted.
Without its professional, experienced farmers, the nation went from being an agricultural export powerhouse to having to rely on handouts from the United Nations’ World Food Programme.
Hyperinflation and a multi-decade depression followed.
If there’s an economic model in the world that you DON’T want to follow, it’s Zimbabwe.
And you’d think that the politicians in neighboring South Africa would know that.
They had a front-row seat to the effects of Mugabe’s land redistribution, not to mention they had to absorb millions of starving Zimbabwean refugees who came across their borders.
Yet this is precisely the policy that they want to adopt.
The problem is - a 2017 government audit found white people owned 72 per cent of farmland in South Africa. According to the 2011 census, there are about 4.6 million white people in South Africa, accounting for 8.9 per cent of the population.
According to civil rights group Afriforum, which represents around 200,000 white farmers largely from the Afrikaner minority, 82 people were killed in a record 423 attacks on farms last year. In 2018 so far, there have already been 109 attacks and more than 15 murders.
Afriforum says it is forced to compile its own numbers because the South African government — which denies the attacks are racially motivated or that white farmers are killed in disproportionate numbers — stopped releasing farm murder statistics in 2008.
“Our rural areas are trapped in a crime war,” Afriforum head of safety Ian Cameron said in a statement, adding that torture with irons, blowtorches, melted plastic and boiling water often continued for hours during the attacks.
“Although the South African government denies that a violence crisis is staring rural areas in the face, the numbers prove that excessive violence plague these areas. Government cannot deny the facts — our people are being mowed down.”
Which is why, earlier this month, Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton floated the idea of fast-tracked humanitarian visas for white South African farmers, saying they faced "horrific circumstances" and needed help from a "civilised country."
“We’re looking at ways we can help people to migrate to Australia if they’re finding themselves in that situation.”
And despite the facts of savage attacks on white farmers, this statement outraged South Africa's government who claimed "the threat did not exist" and accused Mr Dutton of being an "out and out racist."
But today the rhetoric heated up further as Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who recently declared his party was “cutting the throat of whiteness”, denied white farmers were being killed, telling a packed crowd that "we don't know violence, we know negotiations."
Malema, who was convicted of hate speech in 2011 for singing the apartheid-era revolutionary song Shoot the Boer, Kill the Farmer and in 2016 told supporters he was “not calling for the slaughter of white people‚ at least for now”, said farmers should “leave quietly”.
“We’re too busy,” he said. “Don’t make noise, because you will irritate us. Go to Australia. It is only racists who went to Australia when Mandela got out of prison. It is only racists who went to Australia when 1994 came. It is the racists again who are going back to Australia.”
But he said they would be “poor in Australia”. “They are rich here because they are exploiting black people. There is no black person to be exploited in Australia, they are going to be poor.
“They will come back here with their tail between their legs. We will hire them because we will be the owners of their farms when they come back to South Africa. As to what we are going to do with the land, it’s our business, it’s none of your business.
“We want Africa back. Africa belongs to our people.
“We are saying that which our people were killed for ... has not been achieved, and therefore we will continue with that struggle. When we say so, they say we are racist, they say we want to kill white people. Why would we kill white people?
“Our mothers and fathers are not murderers. The white settlers found them here, they killed them, they forcefully removed them, yet our people kept on saying: ‘Let’s talk.’
“Today we say: ‘Let’s talk like our parents kept on saying to you. Let’s talk about how we are going to expropriate land without compensation.’ Then when we say so, they say we want to kill them.”
The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU SA), a commercial farmers union in the region, warned the country is in danger of traveling the same path as Zimbabwe, which “plunged into famine after a government-sanctioned purge of white farmers in the 2000s,” said the Russian Times.
“Where in the world has expropriation without compensation coupled to the waste of agricultural land, resulted in foreign confidence, economic growth and increased food production?” Meintjes said, via Australia’s news.com.au.
“If Mr Ramaphosa is set on creating an untenable situation, he should actively create circumstances which will promote famine. His promise to expropriate land without compensation sows the seed for revolution. Expropriation without compensation is theft.”
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald warned,
“If you continue on this course, I can assure you there is going to be unforeseen consequences that is not in the interest of South Africa.”
The Coming Civil War in South Africa explained: