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Dispatches from a Darkening Corner of the Dark Continent



by Shaun Willcock

The South African government has moved for the first time to seize land from a white commercial farmer.

We knew it was coming. We warned that it was coming. And now it has started. South Africa is another Zimbabwe in the making. Up until now, SA had maintained a “willing seller, willing buyer” approach to what is stupidly called “land reform.” But this is all about to change. In Zimbabwe, the Communist government violently drove the white farmers off their land by allowing their thugs to invade white-owned farms, to rape, murder and pillage. “It won’t happen here!” said South African Communist officials. “We are not Zimbabwe.” No; but SA is ruled by the same ideologues, the same racists. And in light of the most recent developments, there is not one white farmer in SA who can feel secure anymore.

Let us look at what has been happening to agriculture in SA, and specifically to the white farmers, who feed this nation of well over 45 million people (the precise number unknown). It is like something out of a nightmare.

First, the murders.

South Africa’s white farmers are the most endangered group of people on the face of the earth. Since the Marxist ANC came to power in 1994, almost 1700 farmers have been brutally murdered in South Africa, with another 15000 recorded attacks! White babies, and white elderly people, have been raped, tortured, mutilated and murdered during many of these attacks. The per capita murder rate of white farmers is higher than for any other group of people on earth. Worldwide, the average murder rate is 7 out of 100 000; but for South African farmers, it is 313 out of 100 000! This is nothing less than deliberate genocide against SA’s white farmers, a cold-blooded campaign to drive them off their land. And yet the world takes no notice.

When President George W. Bush visited SA during his first term of office, he was given a video presentation on the farm attacks by Pieter Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus, a party representing the Afrikaners in SA. Bush promised to look into the plight of the white farmers. Has he ever done so? Not at all. Instead, he looks to SA President Thabo Mbeki for guidance on the catastrophic, genocidal Zimbabwe issue. And Bush is not alone in pretending that a genocide is not occurring: all the western leaders are as guilty as he is.

To be a white farmer in South Africa today is to have the world’s most dangerous occupation. There are only about 40 000 white farmers left in SA, many thousands less than were farming just a mere eleven years ago. They are the “thin khaki line” protecting the country from famine. If they are driven off, this country faces starvation.

Secondly, land expropriation.

The SA government is planning to expropriate land from the white farmers; with the very real likelihood of following Zimbabwe’s example and actually brutally forcing the farmers off their land.

South Africa’s deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said in July that the ANC government wants all land restitution claims settled within the next three years. It is the government’s plan to deliver 30% of SA’s agricultural land to blacks by 2014.

How would this be done? South African officials have said that there are no plans to copy Zimbabwe’s disastrous, illegal and hate-inspired violent seizure of over 4000 white-owned farms, which caused agriculture to collapse in that country and resulted in a famine threatening millions with starvation. But this is all just talk, on the part of the SA government, to lull everyone into a false sense of security. The fact is that Robert Mugabe’s action in Zimbabwe has been applauded by many black South Africans, who long to see whites driven off their land here just as happened there. And the ANC knows that it has to placate its black supporters if it wants to stay in power. And there are very clear signs that it has in mind the use of the same tactics as used by Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Take note of the following:

A so-called “Land Summit” was held in SA in July. And in an astounding announcement made at this conference, President Mbeki said that to suggest that Zimbabwe’s “land reform” programme was marred by corruption was wrong! (The Witness, July 29, 2005). This reveals Mbeki’s support for Mugabe’s brutal seizure of white-owned farms, and also reveals that Mbeki is in all likelihood prepared to carry out the very same programme in SA if need be!

Then, at the same “Land Summit”, Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka stated that if necessary, the government would revise the current “willing seller, willing buyer” principle. This principle was agreed to during SA’s transition to ANC rule. She said it slows down land reform. And her remarks received loud applause from the black, Communist-supporting delegates.

At the same “Land Summit”, Land Affairs Minister Thoko Didiza said that the State should be allowed to influence how the markets work. And the ANC’s secretary-general, Kgalema Motlanthe, said, “The developmental state must be able to set the price.” (The Witness, July 28, 2005).

The general secretary of the SA Communist Party, Blade Nzimande, congratulated the deputy president and the land affairs minister for their comments, and said that the land strategy must include expropriation. His comment was met by loud applause from the black, Communist-supporting delegates.

Most of the opposition political parties, as well as bodies representing SA’s white commercial farmers, were opposed to the scrapping of the “willing seller, willing buyer” principle. AgriSA director, Hans van der Merwe, said it was reasonable for land owners to expect a market-related price for land they had to part with, and this is best determined by the “willing seller, willing buyer” principle.

In the end, inevitably, the pro-Communist delegates at the “Land Summit” (who, being part of the government, controlled the summit) rejected the “willing seller, willing buyer” principle. Land Affairs spokesman Steve Galane said, “The summit took a resolution to say that needs to be done away with. Government must come up with another mechanism” (The Witness, August 1, 2005). Indeed it did! – expropriation, and possibly a Zimbabwe-style brutal land seizure if deemed necessary by SA’s black Communist authorities.

The white commercial farmers’ organisations did their very best at the “Land Summit.” They fought tooth and nail, and presented reasoned and logical arguments. But all to no avail. They were up against a Marxist government intent on driving whites off their land, as well as being up against various other assorted Marxist organisations which were represented at the conference. Of course, none of this anti-white hatred was reported by the liberal media in SA. The following is from the bulletin of the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa, representing thousands of commercial farmers, and needs to be very carefully studied (I have added italics, and have also have added paragraphs and quotation marks when the myths regarding land reform are quoted, for easier reference):
“The newspaper headline ‘Land Shock’ encapsulated in essence the cumulative hot air, socialistic demands and racist resentment which characterized the land reform summit held over five days at taxpayers’ expense.... The results of the summit were pre-ordained - we knew the Minister of Land Affairs would ruminate on abolishing the ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ principle - the linchpin of rural property security in South Africa, that the chattering land-grab classes would reiterate their ideological claims, and that the commercial farming sector would present logical and reasoned arguments to a summit which was clearly not listening.

The conference can be seen as a prelude to more and more assaults on the commercial farming sector in South Africa. The reiteration of clauses in the communist-contrived ‘Freedom Charter’ of fifty years ago (the land shall belong to those who work it) was given prominent play, and it is clear the summit was to prepare South Africa for a Zimbabwe-style grab of productive commercial farms in the not too distant future. The most ominous revelation was the SA State President Thabo Mbeki’s statement... that the Zimbabwe land grab was delayed ‘so that negotiations for South Africa’s liberation would succeed.’ Mbeki said that when South Africa was negotiating its ‘transition to democracy’ (at the time Zimbabwe started its land grab), the Organisation of African Unity had asked Zimbabwe to stop the programme as it would ‘frighten the apartheid government in South Africa.’ In essence, Mbeki is telling us that the wholesale land theft which was to proceed in Zimbabwe was put on the back burner so as not to frighten South Africa’s whites who were in the process of surrendering their sovereignty on the false premise of power-sharing. This masterful sleight of hand worked, of course, and it is evidence of Mbeki’s supreme self-assurance that he would tell the world of this now, when his own government is relentlessly harassing and hobbling South Africa’s commercial farming sector. The summit revealed the stark chasm which exists between the realists and the ideologues in South Africa, the last country in Africa to produce enough food for its own people. Given the vivid examples of Africa’s inability to feed itself - Zimbabwe, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Angola, Mozambique are but a few - one would think that those governing South Africa would be more sober in their land reform goals. But logic in the Western sense plays no part in the thinking of a government which is prepared to hand over R6 billion of taxpayers’ money to the heinous tyrant now destroying his country, Zimbabwe. This lack of logic could be seen in the ludicrous demands, vicious accusations and lying propaganda which emanated from the land summit.

“To listen to some of the delegates, it would seem the whole purpose of the summit was not only to destroy South African commercial agriculture, but to insult white farmers as well. The vitriol with which some delegates hurled their insolence was shocking.... Farmers were verbally harangued by Blade Nzimande of the SA Communist Party.... So-called freedom songs were sung accompanied by the revolutionary cry ‘Amandla!’ (power), and the crowd were swept up by the hate speech from speaker after speaker. This resentment is a symptom of the huge inferiority complexes inherent in the ruling classes. They know they are incompetent, they know their continent is - as the London Economist put it - ‘useless’, and they blame everyone but themselves. South Africa is at a crossroads. If the demands and malice of the summit prevail, then this country as we know it will be destroyed. There will indeed be no second chance. Once the agricultural sector is on the ropes, those who have been driven from their farms will not come back, as whites will never go back to a Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe. Lies and myths were propagated yet again, despite being disproved a thousand times.... Some of the myths surrounding land reform in South Africa were outlined by Mr Willie Lewies, Deputy President of TAU SA, at the Land Summit.

[Myth 1]: ‘In South Africa, a minority of white landowners control the land while the majority are homeless and live in misery.’ The truth is the State owns 23% of all land, 13% is communal ground (that is belonging to tribes), 60% is in private hands (and this includes all races) while 4% has been redistributed. Further, the most fertile land is in the traditional black areas of the country but due to subsistence farming methods and over-population, there is little surplus production.

[Myth 2]: ‘Land reform will spread property ownership equitably, and will increase food production, employment and income.’ The opposite is true. So far land redistribution has resulted in most transferred farms falling into ruin. Food production, employment and income have not resulted. In truth, production has been lost....

[Myth 3]: ‘The land was stolen from the indigenous population and thus land reform is simply a return of productive land to those who originally owned it.’ When whites arrived in South Africa in 1652, there was no productive farming to speak of. Subsistence agriculture may have existed in parts of the country, but in many areas there were few or no blacks. Numerous scientific studies have been done to prove this fact.... We can write books about the legitimate origins of commercial farming in South Africa. Those in power however are not listening. They are driven by ideology and in some instances hatred. Will the world sit by and allow those in power to destroy the last remaining working country in Africa? Does the world want another Zimbabwe, another Niger? South Africa’s commercial farming sector appeals to the world to wake up and monitor the deliberate efforts by the SA government and its cohorts to drive South Africa’s white farmers off their land, thus bringing the spectre of famine ever closer.” (

Indeed, just as predicted by the Transvaal Agricultural Union, the “Land Summit” was a prelude to more and more assaults on the white commercial farmers of SA. In September, land claims commissioner, Blessing Mphela, said SA must speed up “land reform” or face chaos. He was speaking at a news conference on September 22 at the Commission on the Restitution of Land Rights, a commission established to supposedly restore land which was lost by blacks under apartheid. He said that land seizure was a “last resort.”

But the worst, the most ominous, statement of all came from South Africa’s deputy president herself. In August, she said that SA could learn about land reform from Zimbabwe! She added that SA’s land reform had been too slow and too structured, and then said: “We learned a few lessons from Zimbabwe – how to do it fast.” And: “We may need some skills from Zimbabwe to help us.” (The Witness, August 11, 2005). It makes one’s blood run cold.

Ultimately, what is all this leading up to? In a word: nationalisation. In true Communist fashion, the ANC desires to ultimately nationalise all land in the country, just as Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe, and thus to abolish all private ownership of land. The chairman of the Young Communist League in South Africa has called for it, saying that it may even mean land invasions.

Of course, any interference with the free market economy would result in chaos, another Zimbabwe. But what does the ANC care about this? Nothing. It is a Marxist organisation, committed to revolutionary change. It pays lip service to the free market where necessary, but has no intention of abiding by it if it does not suit its purposes.

So let us return to the government’s expropriation plans.

In the first case of expropriation in SA, the government said it would be issuing an expropriation order for a farm owned by Hannes Visser. The government had offered R1.75 million for the farm, but Visser had asked for R3 million. He said he would be challenging the order. “I do not recognise the claim on my land and cannot be forced to sell at the government’s price,” he said. He said he had made improvements worth R3.5 million to the farm, which his father had bought in 1968. (

And in September it was reported that the government is on the verge of recommending the expropriation of five more farms in the North West Province! (The Witness, September 28, 2005)

The process has started. The ANC is going to seize the land belonging to whites. That is the bottom line. It will give a veneer of legitimacy to the whole sordid process by offering to buy the land at first – but at its own price; and then when that fails, it will expropriate. It may yet copy Zimbabwe and do this violently. Or it may not – but in the end the result will be precisely the same: whites will be driven off their land, the land will be given to blacks, and the agricultural sector of this country will collapse, resulting (as it did in Zimbabwe) in famine and starvation.

For the plain, undeniable truth is that in numerous cases in SA, where land has been bought from white commercial farmers and then “redistributed” (typical Communist terminology) to black communities on the basis of claims that their ancestors possessed that land in the past, they simply do not have either the resources or the expertise – or even the desire – to operate a successful commercial enterprise. Commercial farming today is a highly skilled, expensive undertaking. South Africa’s white farmers are amongst the best in the world. In Africa, however, the black tribes have for centuries practised nothing more than subsistence agriculture, with very primitive implements. And, as seen in Zimbabwe and other African countries, once farms are taken from white commercial farmers and handed over to blacks, they immediately return to subsistence farming methods. Subsistence farming may be adequate enough to enable the subsistence farmer to eke out a basic living for himself and his immediate family from the soil, but that is all. In a modern state, subsistence farming is simply not adequate to feed millions of people.

Examples abound of sheer, breathtaking incompetence. As one example: a farm outside the town of Eshowe was once (under its white owner) a world-class grapefruit producer, exporting to Europe and Japan. But the farm was then transferred to new black owners: 150 local families, to be exact. They were advised by the Land Claims Commission to lease the farm to someone with the necessary expertise while the owners were sent for training; but they rejected this advice. They failed to purchase the necessary pesticides, and the grapefruit ended up rotting on the trees. In addition, the harvesting of the farm’s sugar cane was two months overdue (The Witness, August 2, 2005).

There are all too many other examples. Many of these have been documented in the book, The Great South African Land Scandal, by Dr Philip du Toit (Legacy Publications, Centurion, South Africa, 2004) – a book the ANC government hates with a perfect hatred. The book is a frightening catalogue of disasters as farms have been purchased from whites and handed over to blacks. Here are just some examples of failures on a huge scale, taken from the book:

In the Letsitele Valley of Limpopo Province, farmer Mike Amm sold his beautiful, productive farm to the Department of Land Affairs for “redistribution” to blacks. He and his family had lived there for 43 years, and they built “a bit of paradise” from nothing. Not one person on the committee of blacks who were elected to run the farm on behalf of a black tribe had any agricultural knowledge or background. The committee promptly awarded themselves over R12000 a month each, “and went through the operating capital of R4.5 million like a hot knife through butter.” Equipment started to break down, and was not repaired. The avocado trees started to die of thirst. The pipes from the dam were broken, and never repaired. Other fruit was rotting away as well. State-of-the-art packing sheds were empty. The electricity had been cut off because it had not been paid for. Multiplied thousands of macadamia nuts lay under the trees, unharvested. A world-famous arboretum of over 200 indigenous trees, lovingly created by Mrs Amm on this family farm, is now utterly neglected, and the nursery has virtually disappeared.

A pig farm of over 2700 hectares, in Mpumalanga Province, was purchased by the ANC government for R5 million and then transferred to black ownership. This farm had one of the country’s most modern piggeries, with state-of-the-art feeding equipment. It sustained 2400 pigs. It also had modern sheep and cattle feeding pens. Former president, Nelson Mandela, presided over the handover ceremonies, and said that the farm would be “the bread basket of the community.” Yet within a short time, the farm had utterly collapsed. Squatters from the neighbouring black township moved onto the farm and let their cattle graze at will. Only 500 pigs remained, and these were in such a state of starvation that they had begun to eat one another!

And one last, terrible, tragic example: that of the Zebediela Citrus Estate in Limpopo Province. This vast, highly mechanised estate had more than 567 000 citrus trees. By 1978, it was the world’s biggest citrus estate: almost 400 million oranges were being harvested every year! The output was sufficient to provide one orange for every eight people on earth. 15000 cases of oranges left the estate every day during the height of the season. The harvest was worth R30 million a year when it was taken over by the ANC government’s Agricultural and Rural Development Corporation. By 2001, the estate was in ruins. Over half the trees had died, and only 10% of the yields could be marketed. The estate experienced a loss of R35 million in 2001. Hundreds of thousands of cases of oranges and lemons were not harvested. Workers had not been paid. A lemon yield worth R8 million was left to rot, because there was no money to pay the staff. Many of the 50 tractors were no longer operational. Managers, some of whom had forty years’ experience, were replaced by “managers” with no experience whatsoever. The bank stopped all credit and bounced a cheque of R56 million. The farm was utterly ruined, beyond repair.

It is a story that has been repeated all across South Africa. Just how bad is the situation? It has been estimated that 90% of farms handed over to blacks (ridiculously referred to as “emerging farmers”) are no longer productive! (The Witness, August 2, 2005). And now the ANC government is planning to expropriate white-owned farms! We are witnessing the utter destruction of farming in South Africa.

And when commercial farming collapses in SA? What then? How will this nation of over 45 million people feed itself? The white farmers, with all their knowledge and expertise and love of the land, will have been driven off; entire black communities, with little or no desire to work the land, and/or with no knowledge or experience whatsoever, will have been resettled in their hundreds of thousands on these once-productive farms; and then? The stark answer is that, as in Zimbabwe, South Africans will then face the reality of famine.

And what then?
There are two possible scenarios. Either millions will actually be allowed to die, as appears to be the policy of the Communist government in Zimbabwe, which has stated openly that it is not concerned if 6 million people - half the population - starve to death; or, South Africa will be reduced to dependence on imported food, becoming the dumping-ground for surplus (and inferior!) food from Europe and America. The ANC may be bent on destroying agriculture in SA, not only because it wants the land to belong exclusively to blacks, but also possibly for an even more sinister reason: the ANC dances to the tune of its One-World masters in Europe and America, and they may have a vested interest in seeing South African agriculture collapse.

So: either a large part of the SA population starves to death; or the country becomes enslaved to the neo-colonialists of the First World: the One-Worlders, the Illuminati, the shadowy powers-that-be that rule the world from behind the scenes in Europe and America. Africa’s peoples think they have finally shaken off colonialism. But the truth is that Africa is being colonised all over again, by the super-rich. It is a quieter, more insidious form of colonialism, certainly; but just as real as the old version. Thabo Mbeki, who it seems is hardly ever in the country anymore, hobnobs with the rich and powerful in Europe and America who pull the strings behind the scenes. These men have no interest in the existence of South Africa as a sovereign state, any more than they are interested in the existence of any sovereign state anywhere. Their sole interest is world domination, by whatever method is at their disposal. As I explain in my book, “Holy War” Against South Africa, they want a South Africa that is a fully-integrated part of the New World Order, utterly dependent on their commands. In 1994, when the Marxist ANC came to power, the first stage of their plans was complete, and they embarked on the next stage. The destruction of the South African agricultural sector could very well be a part of those plans.

What is absolutely certain is that South Africa is in deep, deep trouble. This is Africa’s only remaining agricultural success story. It is the only African country still feeding its people. It is Africa’s last hope. South Africa’s white farmers are a special breed. They have turned this country into an agricultural wonder of the world. That a semi-arid country with such a low annual rainfall is able to feed its millions of citizens, and in addition export food to the rest of the world, is a mighty tribute to the sheer genius of its white farmers. If the black Marxist government that now rules this land so incompetently continues to deliberately destroy the white farming sector, it will all be over. Millions will die.

And most of those millions will be blacks. The very people our black Marxist rulers claim to represent, and whose interests they claim to have at heart.

27 October 2005

Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel, and lives in South Africa. He runs Bible Based Ministries.
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