The South African civil rights organisation AfriForum has called on international media outlets to acknowledge the extent to which minority communities in South Africa are being threatened by discriminatory policies, violent farm attacks and murders, land invasions, and hate speech.
This follows after a New York Times story titled “How Tucker Carlson Reshaped Fox News – and Became Trump’s Heir” was published recently. It mentioned AfriForum and the organisation’s campaigns to bring awareness to the scourge of farm murders and the government threatening property rights in South Africa – both of which the piece downplays or dismisses.
AfriForum has requested that the paper correct certain factual errors regarding South Africa but has been informed by the publication that it has decided not to publish AfriForum’s reaction to the article.
In light of this apparent no-care attitude by particular international news outlets, AfriForum is stepping up its #TheWorldMustKnow campaign to raise international awareness about the situation in South Africa. The campaign includes the publication of updated, detailed reports about the situation in South Africa, international awareness tours and joint projects with international role players.
Official data by the South African Police Service (SAPS) indicates that roughly two farm attacks have been reported every day, and approximately two farm murders have been reported every week in South Africa over a period of two decades.
Land invasions have also become a daily reality in South Africa, with more than a thousand such invasions occurring in the Western Cape province alone in less than a year. More than 100 laws currently entrench racial categorisation and discrimination against minorities in South Africa. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, the South African government announced that government support would give preferential treatment to black-owned businesses – a policy that was even condoned by the Northern Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Despite these realities, AfriForum has taken note of some international news outlets who downplay or even spread misinformation or government propaganda regarding the plight of minorities in South Africa in an apparent attempt to land punches in their own domestic political arenas.
The recent article in the New York Times, in which it is alleged that the plea for the South African government to prioritise its reaction to farm murders is the work of fringe “neo-Nazi” groups, is a case in point.
AfriForum has more than 300 000 members who contribute monthly to its work, more than 10 000 volunteers actively involved in its local branches and community safety networks, and more than 200 employees. The organisation has repeatedly taken a firm stance against white nationalism and the destructive actions of certain fringe groups. Despite all these facts, AfriForum has noted with concern a tendency of particular international news outlets to smear its campaigns as the work of fringe groups that ought not to be taken seriously. The organisation has also noted that some of these news outlets are not prepared to publish corrective articles to false allegations nor acknowledge the right of reply of those falsely depicted.
“This is why it is so important for AfriForum to keep telling the truth about South Africa,” said Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum.
“Our campaign is directed at raising awareness and working together with credible role players to improve the plight of minority communities in South Africa. We do not expect the international community to solve South Africa’s problems on our behalf. However, we insist that global media outlets tell the truth, correct mistakes and report objectively.”
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum
Read about South African Farm attacks and murders here