Saving lives. One word at a time.

4. Introduction

Twenty years ago, the regime of Apartheid ended in South Africa, when the European minority (who are descendants of immigrants from England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and France), voted as such in a referendum.  This European minority now comprises 9% (22% in the 1940s) of the population in South Africa and since 1992 has been subject to a sustained and coordinated campaign of brutal and economic reprisals and destruction which extends beyond working strategies of wealth redistribution or the empowerment of the previously
oppressed African majority.

There are a total of 50 million people living in South Africa today. The European minority who are descendants of European immigrants, account for 9.1% (4.6 million) of the South African population. Of this 4.6 million, 500,000 are foreign passport holders.  In September 2010, The Economist estimated that 800,000 (14%) of Europeans had left South Africa since 1994, when Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (“ANC”) came to power.

The percentage of Europeans as a total of the South African population has more than halved from around 22% in the 1940’s. Nonetheless, South Africa has the largest percentage of Europeans as a percentage of the total population compared the any other African country. Many Europeans themselves are immigrants to South Africa from neighboring countries and regions such as Tanzania, the Congo Delta, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Approximately 1.6 million minority Europeans2 are descendants of British and Irish immigrants and 2.5 million are of German, French and Dutch origin. The latter are also referred to as the Afrikaners. The term “Boers” may refer to the Afrikaner in general, English and Afrikaans farmers and even all European members of the Police Force. The word ‘Boer” has the connotation of a Settler, not unlike the Pan African Congress (PAC) which had as its tagline, “One Settler, One Bullet”.

This minority group is subject to genocide which the United Nations defines as, “The deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group “. There are detailed examples of actions taken by the South African government that meet all criteria below, notwithstanding that any of the below criteria should be met to meet the definition of genocide.

  1. Killing members of the group; or
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to the group; or
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; or
  4.  Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; or
  5.  Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

Every second day, a member of the farming community within the minority European Group is brutally murdered. Notwithstanding the daily murders and rapes in the urban communities.  The majority of crimes perpetuated by the African majority against the European minority are home invasions which can last for hours and carjackings. The degree of violence, rape and torture perpetrated against both farming and urban communities of the European minority Group is heinous and unlike anything witnessed in respect of other ethnic Groups in South Africa.

The South African government reneges on its duty to protect its minority citizens from genocide, crimes against humanity which are often perpetuated by non state armed groups. The government has ignored recommendations by Human Rights Organizations, and no longer reports incidents crime according to race or ethnic group.

The South African Government denies genocide and merely classifies the murders and brutalization as crime, which every one of all ethnic groups is ‘subjected to”.  However, it is the contention of the European community that they suffer a higher rate of crime that is often more violent when compared to the remaining groups in South Africa.

The State continues to respond with the argument that the motive for home invasions is robbery and they justify this by assertions that items were almost always taken. A review of intent reveals the true substance of these crimes:
The sheer brutalization and torture of the victims as well as the length of time taken to brutalize these victims, far outweigh the value of any item stolen and this in itself is therefore a clear indication that these acts are based on the intent to brutalize, driven by motive of hate, which in turn is promulgated by hate speech and hate advocacy.

Genocide disguised as robbery is indeed confirmed as a primary motive when one considers that the robberies occur when the families are present. Indeed, if robberies were the main motive for violent home invasions, one would expect then that robbers would seek to perpetrate robberies at times when it is easiest to complete the robbery quickly undetected. Therefore those who primarily intend to torture and kill European minorities will do so and others who primarily intend to commit a robbery will do only that.

There are many other programmes, some legislated and some not, that have as their aim the destruction of the European minority. These include the exclusion of the European minority from business ownership, trade and employment. The European minority is also excluded from accessing tertiary education as well as school education in their home language.  As a result of economic displacement, the unemployment rate of the European minority has more than doubled and 650,000 European minority members live on no income. To make matters worse, in many cases, they are excluded from receiving state welfare or other benefits. Furthermore, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are precluded from allocating more than 9% (the demographic proportion of Europeans) of their resources to ease their plight. Government enforces this
through the interception of NGO funding by the President’s Office. As a result, the European minority ethnic group affected by policies of redress has been left with no hope and absolutely no opportunities to work their way out of the situation they find themselves in.

The South African Government has also embarked on a programme of assimilation of the European minority into the African majority through imposed splitting of communities and forced relocation into African majority settlements. Children who are removed from vulnerable European families are placed with African families, despite the availability of suitable relatives.

The most vulnerable group within the European minority is its commercial farming and rural communities, which are housed on smaller plots of land.  The commercial farming community is at the epicenter of a controversy around land ownership dating back generations. Today, only 50% of land in South Africa remains in the hands of the European minority and there has been a failure rate of 70% of redistributed farms, leading to the waste of $2.5 billion spent to expropriate the land on a willing buyer, willing seller basis.

Alarmingly, the international organization, Genocide Watch upgraded South Africa to stage 6 “preparation” on its Countries at Risk Chart in September 2011, due to a surge in the hate speech and threats against the European minority. Two months later the matter was placed on the agenda in the Dutch Parliament which itself has been a strong supporter of South Africa’s transition. In March of this year, 48  Members of the Parliament of the European Union issued a declaration outlining concerns and calling on the South African Government to intervene.

The government of South Africa will be ramping up their land expropriation, nationalization and economic seizure campaign in what it dubs as its “second transition”. This does not bode well for the European minority who will imminently experience an exponential increase in poverty, reprisals and acts of genocide.

We seek assistance to ease the inhumane plight of the European minority in the form of a three-pronged approach:

  1.   Activation of United Nations mechanisms to protect and prevent genocide;
  2.   Funding of efforts by an international consulting Group to raise awareness and assist with the collection of witness statements and credible data to assist the Stanton Commission of Inquiry; and
  3.   Initiate programs to assist the displaced and provide trauma centers for victims under the auspices of a structured cluster.

Next – Genocide Definition

Previous – Background


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