Zimbabwe Zimbabwe flag. Click to return to the home page. Crisis

Home | ZimCrisis#87 -- More Farmers Driven Out in South Africa

Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 10:44:47 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#87 -- More Farmers Driven Out in South Africa
Cc: "South African government":;, "African press":;, "Foreign press":;

Hi everyone,

Farm invasions are not a new concept in South Africa, but the crisis in Zimbabwe has obviously brought them to the forefront of the news. By their encouragement of the invaders, Mugabe and Mbeki are showing their willingness to rape and pillage the whole of southern Africa.


From Michael Dynes in Johannesburg

DOZENS of white farmers have abandoned their properties on KwaZulu-Natal's northern coast after a surge of invasions by landless squatters, farmers' organisations said yesterday. An increase in violent incidents has been reported all over the country, increasing pressure on the Government to speed up land reform or to face unrest similar to that in Zimbabwe. Lourie Bosman, spokesman for Agri South Africa, an organisation representing white and black commercial and subsistence farmers, said: "Conflict is definitely on the increase. If the Government fails to speed up the land reform programme, the masses on the ground could create huge problems for South Africa."

Ronald Ramabulana, head of the black National African Farmers' Union, said: "There is a genuine land hunger in this country. We need to redistribute 30 per cent of South African land urgently to create a new class of black commercial farmers."

The KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture Minister, Narend Singh, visited an area affected by the land invasions yesterday. He said that the occupations were spontaneous and "peaceful", and dated back to 1987. However owners of the occupied properties told the minister that they were threatened daily by squatters, crops had been burned and possessions stolen.

Nearly a decade after the collapse of apartheid, about 85 per cent of prime agricultural land is owned by white farmers. South Africa's 1994 Land Redistribution Act, which set a target of acquiring 30 per cent of white-owned land for redistribution among black people forcibly dispossessed since the beginning of the 20th century, has succeeded in redistributing 3 per cent of holdings.

Mr Bosman added: "It took 20 years for the land issue in Zimbabwe to come to a head. Given what has happened there, the people on the ground here are clearly not going to wait that long."

Most observers believe that there is little evidence to support the allegation that there is an organised campaign to drive white farmers off the land. Most of the violence is a result of unco-ordinated action by small groups drawn from the millions who were uprooted from their traditional communities.

Many live in vast sprawling rural slums with insufficient resources to pay labola (bride price) and no land to inherit. They are denied the traditional rites of passage to marriage and manhood. Their lack of a basic education locks them out of the urban economy.

Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List

This is currently a manually administered mailing list. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send your request to DELETED. Personal requests for removal will be carried out immediately. Requests from governmental, political or press organisations (or their representatives) will be treated less favourably. The purpose of this list is not necessarily to redistribute published news reports. Rather, it is intended to distribute reports from or directly affecting people in Zimbabwe. If you have seen something before, I apologise. Hopefully that will not be a regular occurrence. Any reports from respondents that are relayed to the mailing list will be done so anonymously.

Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List Archives -- http://www.niner.net/zimcrisis
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk