Seventh Forum on Minority Issues
25 & 26 November 2014
“Preventing and addressing violence and atrocities targeted
Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO: International Affairs
AfriForum is a South African civil rights organisation focusing on minority rights (and
especially Afrikaner rights). It aims to activate the South African civil society to
participate positively in the promotion and protection of minority rights outside the realm
of party politics. Currently is has between 112 000 and 113 000 members and 135
branches at local level countrywide in South Africa. As such, AfriForum is concerned
about the violence and atrocities targeted against minorities in South Africa, an
increasing phenomenon that is being met with denial by the authorities, or is written off
as mere crimes. The complex nature of these incidents require specialist, impartial
attention to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate even further.
A specific manifestation of such violence that is a primary concern for AfriForum, is
farm attacks. The South African government’s failure to curb this phenomenon, is one
of the country’s most pressing concerns. Consequentially, a campaign for the
prioritising of farm attacks is one of AfriForum’s principal campaigns. According to
calculations in 2013 of a leading authority on crime research, the Institute for Security
Studies, and the agricultural union, TAU SA, the farm-murder rate amounts to between
120 and 130 murders per 100 000. This is more than four times the South African
murder average, which is one of the highest in the world at 31 per 100 000 per year;
and more than 17 times the world average for murder, which is put at about 7 per
100 000 per year. These farm attacks are being perpetrated against members of all
groups; however most of the victims of such attacks are Afrikaner farmers.
South Africa is a country of minorities. Of the eleven major identity groups in the
country, no single cultural group constitutes a majority.
As a result of this complicated situation, measures were taken in the South African
Constitution of 1996 to protect the rights of all South African minorities. This included
the establishment of institutions to guard democracy and ensure that residents are
protected from any form of abuse by any individual, group, party or other institution.
These bodies include:
the Auditor General;