Cape Town – The provincial EFF has called for the immediate arrest of agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer and the organisers of the farmers’ murder demonstration following the hoisting of the apartheid flag by protesters.
On Sunday, hundreds of farmers and farmworkers marched to Parliament demanding action from the government to stop the escalating farm attacks and murders with a protester wearing a hat displaying the old flag while another was hoisting the old Boer Republic flag.
The EFF said this was an attempt to undermine the law and judgment of the court and said Meyer should be arrested for “using state resources to participate in a political event in which an outlawed symbol was used without any condemnation from his side as a government representative who is meant to uphold the rule of law”.
Provincial EFF chairperson Melikhaya Xego said that his failure to condemn this “criminality” had suggested his support both for the reason it was used and the context in which it was used.
“The EFF understands that the march was meant to raise awareness about murders on the farms and not murders committed by white racist farmers who continue to kill black people on the farms and undermine their dignity. The hoisting of a symbol of oppression and mass murder of black people in the form of the old apartheid flag is a clear perpetuation of this racial hatred against black people, which the DA is in support of,” he said.
However, Meyer said that at no point during his presence at the protest did he personally see an old South African flag being displayed, nor the man with the cap, until he watched the footage from which the Red Berets had derived their information.
“The DA does not condone the use of the old South African flag. We agree with the ruling of the Constitutional Court from last year that a gratuitous display of the old South African flag now constitutes hate speech.
“The fact is that while I was making my speech, I was proudly standing in front of our national flag,” the MEC said.
Meyer added that farm attacks and farm murders were not a racial issue and reiterated that he was at the protest “for the love of agriculture”.
“I was there for the love of our farmers, I was there in solidarity with our farmers and farmworkers, black and white,” he said.
The national co-ordinator of Black Monday South Africa, Valerie Byliefeld, would not comment.