FARMLANDS (2018) | Official Documentary


Ever since I started my work in politics I have heard stories and rumors of something sinister
happening in South Africa. I was regularly sent images and videos claiming there was
a white genocide going on right now. As a journalist, I have learned
to never take anything at face value to second-guess and question it all but I also believe
that there is never smoke without fire. This is what makes
South Africa so intriguing because depending on your outlook it is either a paragon of multiculturalism
and social justice or a powder keg with a genocide
against the white population ready to erupt into an all-out race war. After doing some digging I found an overwhelming mass
of conflicting information about South Africa. Political turmoil disappearing government funds widespread corruption and the sense that those responsible
are never quite brought to justice. I found stories
about the most gruesome murders imaginable with almost no statistical proof
of their existence. I tried to put the pieces together
but there were just too many missing. With the left-wing and establishment media
calling the farm murders a non-issue and praising the rainbow nation and the far right predicting a civil war I thought surely the truth must lie
somewhere in the middle. To understand South Africa today
we have to understand South Africa then 366 years ago to be precise
when the wheels of history were set in motion. It all begins in 1652 when the Dutch East India Company
or the VOC became the first European group
to establish a permanent settlement on South Africa’s Western coast. At this time the rest of the country
was inhabited only by the Khoisan people an ancient nomadic group
who forged the land long before the black tribes
migrated South into the modern-day KwaZulu-Natal. The VOC made its first purchase of land
from the Khoisan people in 1671 establishing the Cape Colony in the areas
surrounding what would become Cape Town but it did not treat
all under its rule well and many children of the settlers
were born into indentured servitude. Seeking a life beyond the VOC a group
known as the Trekboer set out
beyond the borders of the Cape Colony in search of a free, semi-nomadic
farming life in the country’s interior. They were joined
by the first of the Voortrekkers in 1836 a larger group
that would eventually form the basis of South Africa’s
modern Afrikaner population. As the Great Trek reached its peak war erupted
among the Bantu tribes in the North as they migrated
across the modern South African border. In 1816 a king named Shaka
ascended to the Zulu throne. Within a year he had conquered
almost all of the neighbouring tribes who were vying for control of the region. This period is known as the Mfecane the Zulu word for crushing, scattering
or forced migration. In 1823 a rebellion under Mzilikazi
split off from the Zulus and headed North
into the Transvaal region where it is estimated between 1
and 2 million Bantu people were massacred leaving the area
almost completely depopulated. It was during this time
that several tribes the Mfengu and the Ngwane among them
were forced to flee South putting them on a direct course
for the trekking Boer. This was unfortunate for the Boer who had been making deals
with smaller tribes in the area trading favors, livestock
and weaponry for land. These deals between the Boer and the Bantu occurred frequently
throughout South Africa’s history. It wasn’t long though until fair and mostly peaceful exchanges
of land between whites and blacks gave way to violent militaristic ones. In 1828 a new Zulu king, Dingane
took the throne. Piet Retief, a notable Voortrek leader was determined to make civil deals
with the tribes. He was granted land
for his caravan of Voortrekkers in exchange for the return of 700 cows that had been stolen
by a neighboring tribe. After returning these cows to the Zulu Retief and his trekkers made settlements
on the agreed-upon land and in a show of good faith the King
invited Retief and a band of his men to witness a special performance
put on by his soldiers. There was no show. Instead the soldiers restrained Retief and marched him
and 100 of his men to a bridge where they were beaten to death leaving Retief for last so he would be forced
to watch the murder of his men and his son before he himself was killed. Dingane went on to massacre
Retief’s entire encampment including hundreds of women, children and many Khoisan people who had travelled
alongside the Voortrekkers. The incident became known
as the Weenen massacre. While the Boer advance across the country
was mostly peaceful the Bantu tribes fought ceaselessly killing white, black and Khoisan people
wherever they found them. In 1910 following the surrender
of the Boer to the British the Union of South Africa was formed. It comprised
all of the now established colonies and united them as one legislative union. For a time separation of blacks and whites
was only a social convention not the rigidly enforced legal structure
it came to be but after the election
of the National Party in 1948 what we now know today as apartheid a word that quite literally means
separateness was formally introduced
across South Africa. A slew of new laws
including bans on mixed-race marriages and the Population Registration Act which required people to register
as black, white, colored or Indian were all introduced and many of the descendants
of the Bantu tribes were moved to the Bantustan areas
known today as the black tribal homelands. In all aspects of life
blacks and whites became separated often almost entirely. In the 70s and 80s apartheid became
the focus of a global pushback. The UN brought sanctions while internal resistance to apartheid
began to find greater support. In the face of both peaceful
and violent resistance the National Party began
a brutal crackdown. The crackdown only radicalized South Africa’s
anti-apartheid activists even further. In 1961 Nelson Mandela, then a member
of the South African Communist Party co-founded the Spear of the Nation the armed wing of the African National
Congress that rules the country today. The group often abbreviated to MK
publicly announced its existence with 57 bombings on one day. Ultimately with the help of the CIA Mandela was arrested
and spent the next 27 years in prison. During this time the resistance
to apartheid only became more radical. In 1986 Mandela’s wife Winnie publicly
endorsed the new trend of necklacing a form of execution used against Blacks thought to be collaborating
with the government. They would be forced to wear
a rubber tire filled with petrol around their chest or neck
before being set ablaze. Eventually
following international pressure and the fear of a race-based civil war
the National Party released Mandela and entered into negotiations
with the African National Congress formally ending apartheid in 1991. Three years later
Mandela led the party to victory in South Africa’s
first multiracial election securing his presidency
and bringing about a new constitution emphasizing racial reconciliation. South Africa is a young democracy and the country still faces
great obstacles like deciding
who has the right to parts of land still owned by the Afrikaner minority. Something that has come to be known
as the land issue and which is tied closely
to attacks on farmers. It is this divided South Africa
that I am stepping into today. There were running battles
in the city’s Unit 9 last night between police and protesters… …leading in and out of the city
have been closed due to violent protests. Shops have been looted
and roads have been closed. Within hours of touching down
in South Africa I saw protests and rioting across the nation
plastered on every TV screen but there were hardly enough news channels to encompass
even a fraction of the true chaos. As we drove from the airport my guide told me that protesters
had burned down the Town Hall. He said this happened every day
but every day was an understatement. While simply in transit
to our next filming location we drove past a nature reserve
that was still ablaze. It was intense as I realized this was
my first real glimpse of South Africa but little did I know at the time this burning building was
only a mild symptom of a much deeper issue
that plagued the nation. It’s an ongoing thing,
people get discontented and they destroy. There is a sort of Schadenfreude
in the thing, not because I say so but because casual examination
of the thing reveals that it’s true. There has been for many years
going back to apartheid but currently too a habit of burning down schools
if the children are discontented with… …the headmaster, for example. We’re following the burning of 13 schools
in the countries in Limpopo Province. The protests broke out
over a district boundaries disputes. Protesters say moves to include their
neighborhoods into a new municipality would delay efforts
to get them better housing and water. Government officials appealed
for an end to the violence saying it’s affected
the education of hundreds of children. The number of municipal buildings that has been burnt down in South Africa
over the past let’s say 30 years runs to I would say comfortably
a thousand, very comfortably. My instinct is to say 3 or 4 thousand if I total up all of the stories
that I have read in passing in newspapers
over the past 30 years. While I had come here
to investigate the farm murders I quickly learned
the problems here were far more prolific. On average the country sees 32 protests over schooling, education, land
and infrastructure every single day and the cost of damage to South Africa’s
university buildings alone has already soared
well above USD 45 million. There was clearly more at play here
than I first thought so I pressed on
determined to find the truth. When investigating the farm murders I was met
with a remarkable scarcity of information. The government statistics did not report
any rise or increase and the BBC and other mainstream outlets
echoed this position. I wanted to know why the murders
of South Africa’s rural white minority were so different from the rest
of the crime in this country and when I dug deeper
I discovered the Blood Sisters an organization that works
with government contracts to clean up crime scenes
across South Africa and I figured surely if anyone they would know what the reality
of these numbers really looked like. My name is Eileen De Jager. I’m one of the Blood Sisters
known in South Africa. We are a nationwide leader
in crime scene clean-up. Have you seen an increase
in this kind of attacks in recent years? Absolutely. 18 years ago when we started
this business there were attacks. According to our knowledge
and what we experienced they started weekly. We would get one call a week to come and assist
at either a farm attack or a farm murder Now it is definitely daily. It has increased unbelievably. Between 2012 and 2016
the attacks on smallholding farms or properties deemed as a farm
or an area non residential have increased by an average of 72.9%. The figures that I’ve just given you
are according to our statistics. Government statistics will differ. I don’t work closely with them
because we don’t do every scene but their figures are
funnily enough lower than ours. I don’t have a particular reason for that. I could…I don’t wish to devel on that. This was the first time on camera a qualified government associate
had confirmed my worst fears. Not only are the farm murders real the genuine numbers are
much higher than we imagined but I wanted to know more. In a country that already has
extensive murder rates why are these so much worse? Farm murders are one
of the most gruesome kind of crime scenes that we have to deal with
especially in South Africa. Farm murders are intentional. It is not robberies. The intention of the attackers according to us and what we’ve seen
is to kill. It’s being classified
especially on the crime stats as well that it is attacks or robberies
burglaries but because there is no statistic for
farm murders currently in South Africa. The brutality of the farm murders
in South Africa is undescribable. We found pieces of nail being pulled out. We found hands being removed from bodies. We found people right murdered,
brutally murdered babies, children. The farmers are trying
to protect their families and there’s just no stopping. The farm murders are brutal. Another one that stays with me is
just outside Johannesburg. We had a farm murder
where five people came in. It was arranged by their domestic worker and they drowned their 12 year old boy
in boiling hot water so we had to remove
the skin from the bath as it was peeling off him
in the hot water. That was a terrible scene. If you look at the worst movies ever made it is properly attached against
what is really going on there. It is unbelievable. Having heard
from the far-right corners of the internet that these murders were racially based I was intent on finding out what motives the Blood Sisters attributed
to these kinds of attacks. 90% of the increase we found
is due to unemployment racial discrimination
and there’s just no hope. If you don’t start
your own business in South Africa where are you going to work? There’s no work. Ja, I have to be careful. Ja, I have to be a little bit careful. Anonymously
I will tell you a lot of stuff. I Knew I had to investigate further. I had to meet the families
caught up in these attacks so I traveled
to the heartland of South Africa where these murders take place
every single day. The history goes back… We are now 3rd generation on this farm. My grandfather arrived here in the 1800s. He died of a heart attack and then my dad inherited this portion
and his brother inherited the top farm which my dad eventually,
over the years, bought back so it has been in the family
for more than a hundred years. Myself and my three siblings grew up here went to school in Graaff-Reinet
which I’m sure you came through and then went to study in Cape Town and it was always
our dream to come back and it was always
the intention to come back not under these circumstances though. My dad was living alone. My mom was in an Alzheimer’s home. Sorry, this is quite hard and there was this guy, Sallie and he lay in wait for my dad and at nine o’clock that night
he knocked on the back door. My dad opened the door
and he shot my dad in the stomach. My dad managed to get to the phone
to phone my aunt and then he phoned the neighbor and said, ‘Listen, I’ve been shot’ and the neighbor could hear
the rest of the gun shots. and then the phone went dead. There were 8 shots. There was one shot
that ricocheted against that wall. All the time my dad’s been shot back, arms, legs and my dad slumped forward over this chair and he was shot
in the back of the head here. Just execution-style
in the back of the head. They found 8 cartridges but he was shot 6 times Who came and found him here? My aunt and friends of theirs. Four farmers. One of the people
that were here on the scene was studying to be a doctor
they tried CPR. He was dead by the time they got here. He had already succumbed
to his injuries. Ja, this is where my dad died. He was killed. [Lauren] I’m so sorry. I know, for what? He was a good man, he was awesome. And to shoot somebody
6 times execution-style. You think it gets easier
it never does unfortunately. My dad was… and Louis will back me up
and everybody will back me up. My dad was the most loving person. Gee, cold-bloodedly just… so all they took was
about 20,000 Rand in the safe. helped themselves to food in fridge and then hit the road and then bumped into
or saw the farmers arriving and ran and they spent the night
the two of them, in one of the farms and got back to Aberdeen and by Saturday morning
the farmers had caught both of them. The farmers it was a tip-off and the farmers caught them
and eventually the police apprehended them. They got 15 years. 15 years. With these 15 years
he can sit for 6 years and he’ll come back and he’ll probably come and kill us
or kill another farmer because he knows how easy it is
that he’s got away with it but no remorse whatsoever. Nothing. He span so many stories in court
that the judge eventually said ‘Rather keep quiet
because I don’t believe you’ so justice has not been served yet. Listening to Jeanine’s story standing in the exact spot it had happened
was intensely uncomfortable but it would not be
the only sobering story I heard that day. Just hours after sitting with Jeanine
and only 50 miles away we entered the farm of another family who had been tormented
by the nation’s growing crime wave. The Haws family have had to go
to extraordinary measures to protect their family after their father was shot in the face
during an attack at their home. I woke up one morning
and heard a terrible noise. My son and my little daughter
were in the house and I don’t know why but I just screamed. It happened so fast. I ran to my bedroom window and I just saw
people jumping over the wall and it was already over. I went outside and I saw the blood. Only then did I realize
my husband had been shot. The marks are still on the wall. You hear about this everyday. There’s not a week that goes by
without a farm attack. My husband survived the attack
but others are not as lucky as us. Seeing the scars and the impact watching this attack unfold
at their home has had on this family brought the situation in South Africa
into sharp focus for me and the security measures:
the electric fences, the thermal cameras as well as a closet stocked
with guns and weaponry now serve as a daily reminder
of what happened here for a family
that is already struggling to heal. During the week I’m alone here. My kids go to boarding school
and I almost never go out. I always lock everything. It’s had a huge effect on my life. My fears are for another attack. My peace has been stolen. I just never feel safe in my own home. Outside the charmed world of rich
and famous influencers who paint a story of security and prosperity from within their gated communities
in Johannesburg and Cape Town it seemed everywhere in South Africa there was a story of tragedy
and bloodshed to be told. Yes, my mother-in-law was murdered here in January 2008. They strangled her with a belt around her neck and they took out her eyes with a fork. They pricked her with a fork. Her whole body was pricked with a fork. It was very cruel. You see the problem is
I will never go back and buy a farm there. It is too risky, too capital-intensive. They make you keep
yourself safe because you’re not safe even on your own tractor,
doesn’t matter where because they will ambush you. I’m not scared but if I knew something better to do
I’d rather do something better that’s why I’m here. I’m retired now
and I’m not farming anymore. Ja, I personally think so. We had a system in place way back
we called the commando system and they were very much helpful
to the farmers but then they disbanded them all and they’ve left everything over
just for the police but I think the farmers now
are coordinating with each other and they are doing most of the job in order to catch some of these culprits. So the farmers are now kind of acting
as their own police force. Ja, I think so. In fact, some of these farmers
had added me into whatsapp groups where over months I have seen
the reports of attacks the theft and killing of livestock,
gunfights in the streets and of course farm murders. Pay attention, here at [unintelligible] There are people laying all over
that have been shot with AK-47. Please can somebody assist?
they need help there. [unintelligible] In these groups I saw firsthand the lengths of coordination
these farmers must go to in order to deal
with their situation alone. The specialized crime unit
in Port Elizabeth took over the case and I really believe
if they weren’t involved we wouldn’t have got
as far as we have got but now they’ve been told
– this is specialized crime – not to do farm murders anymore. They’re not allowed to do farm murders. Yes, my dad’s case was the last case
they were allowed to do. [Lauren] Why? The government has said, they – the serious crimes –
can’t look at farm murders anymore. These stories of government failure
are heartbreaking not least of all because these farmers
are left feeling helpless and alone. I was due to move on
to the last leg of my journey when I was introduced to a man named Louis who lost everything in a drought
that hit his region. Basically, we are in a drought
and the state has declared a disaster. They allocated 375,000 to our district
but it did not reach us. Nobody knows where the money is but it has obviously been stolen
and it’s made everything much worse. Louis showed me around his farm where the effects of the drought
were a striking sight. I can’t afford to pump the water
out of the ground anymore. It has gotten me into massive debt. It’s no longer even affordable
to run my machinery, pump the water or go to the wholesaler
and buy the basic ingredients to feed my cattle and maintain the farms. It is all totally pointless. My farm used to be a green oasis,
it used to be a healthy perfect farm. Now it has all turned to dust to barren wasteland with piles of bones
from the sheep I once had who died of thirst. Over the past few years
the South African government has used
its Black Economic Empowerment policy to coerce utility companies
into depleting the number of white workers to reflect the racial makeup of the country. In reality, this means that companies
with government contracts must shoot for a goal of a workforce
with no more than 8% white workers. Since these mass layoffs filling engineering and other high skilled
positions has been difficult only worsening the water crisis and causing serious ramifications
for the country’s white farming minority. I could no longer afford
to maintain my old home. So it fell into disrepair and we now live
in a much smaller shack down the road. There is nothing left of that house. The floors have rotted,
the walls are breaking. The place my children were born the place my wife and I built from scratch
and used to love it is now just rubble. This is happening to everyone,
everywhere here. You drive up and down these lands
and all you can see is dilapidated farms. There are extremely difficult times
laying ahead for us. Everything points towards them
trying to break us. In a nation so dependent
on these farms for its food and for some of its major exports
like angora mohair it’s hard to believe
the government is doing so little to help or worse as some are speculating, purposely withholding aid
as they battle with farmers for the land. The whole objective of the government
is to make it very difficult economically. Through fuel and property taxes
they are overtaxing us on everything. Like everyone in South Africa
our lives are turning to ruin and they are doing it to us on purpose. The government here feel nothing for us,
they want us starving or dead. It is a strategy
they have been working on for years. It’s hard working here every day knowing they’re going
to chase you out in 6 months. The government even said openly
they are going to take our land. I will never recover from this. I just hope my children can have
a better life one day. Spending time with Louis on his dying farm has been a truly
heart-wrenching experience. Not only are these farmers forced to live
with the constant fear of break-ins and some of the most gruesome
crimes imaginable but every day has been a struggle even just for the survival
of the very land to which they are so deeply rooted. To make matters worse if the government follows through
with their promises Louis will shortly be losing
all his land as well. Listening to Louis described
his situation was surreal. It was far too removed
from the reasonable middle ground I expected to find between the left
and the right’s postering of the issues facing South Africa. Only days after leaving South Africa I saw Louis’s fears
vindicated in Parliament the ANC announced they would
absolutely be taking white land by force. Expropriation without compensation. Even the ANC’s most famous leader
Nelson Mandela a known radical communist, at least
believed in the concept of compensation. He did not even propose
a motion this extreme. This will be the first time
in modern South Africa we see something like this play out. In fact, all of South Africa’s
political parties have steadily become
more radical in their approach. The EFF, which holds 10% of the vote are notorious for singing
an anti-apartheid song at their rallies calling for the deaths of white farmers. The situation has now become so dire
that nations like Australia have begun considering
giving refugee status to white farmers while others within South Africa
hold mass protests before the plaasmoorde,
the African word for farm murders reaches a point of no return. I began to wonder
if the remoteness of their farms simply made these farmers an easy target or if other white South Africans
faced the same problem. So I met with Liz, a businesswoman with a successful paintball field
and shop near Port Elizabeth. I’ve probably had over 100 break-ins
at my business in the last 10 years. I’ve been in 2 armed robberies at my work,
so as we were closing, guys just rolled in and basically pulled out a gun
and take all your stuff. In one of the armed robberies, one of the guys was beating me
with a metal pipe over my head so you just shut up
and be quiet and just subdue. They basically don’t tell you to be quiet
they just make you be quiet. Basically, a lot of people are getting
robbed these days at their homes and their work and they buy paintball guns
with solid balls and pepper balls because it’s a non-lethal defense form,
you don’t need a license. Getting a gun license in South Africa is
very time-consuming, very costly and you’re not guaranteed that you’re
actually going to get a license so a lot of people are buying
paintball guns from us to basically shoot anyone
who’s on their property or trying to get on their property with a solid ball that is
basically made of nylon or fiberglass and it is like a deterrent. Things have gotten so bad that Liz has been forced to bring
armed security over daily cash out. Sometimes when we are busy
my dad will come to the range and basically bring his gun and we just have that
as a extra precautionary measure because you never know
what’s going to happen. It’s like the Wild West at times,
some people watch Wild West movies. There’s days where you feel like you’re
in your own Wild West movie in Africa. Just days after visiting Liz she was the victim
of another armed break-in. Like many other white South Africans she has now decided
to close down her business and attempt to leave the country. South Africa’s white population has fallen
by 23,000 in the last year and with the recent surge in murders
and the announcement of land expropriation that number is expected to skyrocket
before the end of 2018. To get to the bottom of
why this was happening I wanted to meet
some of the nation’s policymakers to hear their side of the story so I managed to secure
an interview with Thabo Mokwena a powerful businessman and a member of the ruling party’s
Provincial Executive Committee and someone, I have been advised is a major force
within the African National Congress. There has been a very slow progress in terms of addressing the land
or redistributing the land so we must speed up and it is not the question that government
doesn’t have money for compensation or there is no money
for compensation in the system. I think part of the problem is
that the bureaucracy is way too slow and it undermines the good objectives so you have to have
cutthroat departments that understand the urgency
and the plight of the people. When they are required to do their work
they must do it. The decision that has been taken
is without compensation. There’s nothing that government can do
that is illegal to the farmers. Neither there is nothing
that the farmers can refuse, which is law so they don’t have much options. It is not the intention of the ANC
to go and grab the land illegally. We will do it within the prescripts
of the laws of this particular country and if it means
that the laws of this country are not adequate to address that the first thing to do is to introduce
new laws that allow us to be able to… But once it’s law no farmer no person can come and say
I am going to disobey this law. Do it at your own peril. This seems to be the official party line. Don’t worry, everything is fine
ignore cover up and don’t mention it. But former financial advisor to the ANC
turned political activist Simon Roche has spoken out
against this approach in recent years. Our economy is imploding. The value of our currency has deteriorated
dramatically, almost unbelievably. We’ve been downgraded to junk status. We have an official unemployment rate
of about 38%, just over 38% but an unofficial, in other words the non-government sources say
that it is certainly, 50%. We have 16.3 million people
on social grants and an income tax base
of 3.1 million people. Taken together these are the reasons
we believe there will be a civil war and I’d like to add a final anecdote. We recently had a protest
in South Africa against farm murders the protest was called Black Monday and afterwards
our Minister of Defence said that if whites staged another such protest they will bring a civil war upon themselves,
they will provoke a genocide. Like the wider situation in South Africa my conversation with Thabo quickly became
messy and confusing something I began to believe was a tactic to avoid confronting
the reality of the situation. The implications of this tactic became
increasingly concerning throughout my trip. To simply ignore racial tensions,
economic and energy crises and of course the farm murders seemed
shockingly irresponsible as the evidence
on the ground continued to mount. It was at this point that I discovered
another phenomenon sweeping the country. White squatter camps. So I went to one such site
to investigate it for myself. This squatter camp
just outside the nation’s capital is one of many across South Africa and is home to some of the country’s
most disadvantaged people many of whom have struggled to find work,
basic medical care or even shelter because of the country’s
Black Economic Empowerment laws. It is built
on the site of an old dumping ground and is home to around 60 people
most of whom are children. [Lauren] We’re ok to film? Ja This is Danie. He’s going to be your tour guide. [Lauren] Hi Danie, nice to meet you. The place is about people
that haven’t got any place to stay that stay on the streets so we help them and there are some of the people
that are coming in that have drug problems and all that, we help them with it and especially women that were abused
with children and we help them with it. That is what we are doing here. From the public side outside,
we don’t get any support So the men here, we all are working. We love to do it because… …especially women and children they don’t get
any support from the government and we haven’t got power or lights. Electricity, we haven’t got yet
that’s why we’ve got water but Kobus is supporting us with the water so he’s paying those damages
out of his pocket. Because there’s no help for whites
in South Africa, not so all, nothing. So when whites land on the streets they run to squatter camps
because they know there’s food and clothes. That’s why I started it. [Lauren] Who builds these houses,
you guys do? We do it ourselves. This is one guy that stays here,
look at his room, one guy. Without this place open
where would these kids be? They would be on the streets
or they would be in foster or they would be in somebody’s else care. The government doesn’t have
a whole lot of programs? No, nothing. While there are
poor people of all races in South Africa people here are often refused help
based solely on their race. Miss Grace,
the de facto mother of the camp told me how one resident was refused
treatment at a hospital because of the color of his skin while children in the camp were refused
places at a local school for the same reason. I think near 2001 it was stipulated from the government
no support to any whites whatsoever no aid, nothing. Why couldn’t you go to one of the hospitals
that the government has set up? Because of the skin color. And yeah, it’s not a law,
we just help black people here because there’s not a place that doesn’t. If you go to places
like Jesus Disciples, Manger those places they take blacks
and they put the whites out. That’s about it. [Lauren] So wait, there are places here
that will only help blacks but not whites? Ja, that’s true. [Lauren] Can you tell us
a little bit more about that? Like people find that
a very bizarre idea. I don’t know how to say,
just the racism going around. I’m just here to get my life in order
and try to give my daughter a better life. [Lauren] Were there any other places
you could have gone? No. [Lauren] Why not? Nobody else didn’t want to help. I have tried a lot at the end of the day Uncle Kobus
was the only one that took me. This is the only place
who could help us with… …place to stay and things. There are the only ones
who helped us. No one else wanted to. if it wasn’t for them
I would have been in the streets. I would sleep with my wife
and my kids in the streets. I’m suffering because of people
who are racist with us. They don’t care
about our own people because you can’t get jobs anymore. because this side of the Earth
is bad for us and I’m not lying it’s really bad. No one can get jobs around here,
we suffering badly. Even the youngest kids,
I’ve got a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old I don’t know how I’m going
to give them a life around here. Where we lived things were very dangerous one day there were black people
walking in the street and they shot through our windows and I went and the police did nothing. You can’t even walk
in the streets all around. At night, during the day,
they always rape you or beat you up they spit at you [unintelligible] They know you don’t know the language but they will come and spit at you
which is breaking you down. You don’t feel like a person
around here anymore so they’re making sure
our people don’t have a life anymore. This is just one of dozens of camps
like it in South Africa a growing testament to the resentment
the country’s white population now faces. In order to learn more about why anti-white racism
is thriving in the country I spoke to the Deputy President
of Black First Land First one of South Africa’s
more radical political parties. Last year Andile Mngxitama founded
the Black First Land First which he says aims
to put land and the economy back in the hands of black South Africans. BLF is taking…. We have to fight
in order to attain freedom as the black majority of this country and the fight has to be located in taking back the land
and expropriating it back to the people and seizing the means of production
and expropriating everything or rather redistributing
everything equally A society that would embody a value system
that puts black people first will have to be attained
through confrontation unfortunately because our people have waited for so long peacefully and nothing is happening in terms of changing
our lived experience In fact, the settlers know that very well! So we’re already at war! Our people are at war in farms now! White people are land thieves
and they have no stake to this society and the black majority understands that
and we will respond accordingly. I think black people
have been patient enough for more than 400 years of colonialism. We don’t want you to feel pity for us. We are coming for you and we are going
to get everything that you own. It’s ours! During my trip I was worried to see
views like these so readily accepted and even celebrated on television
and in the print media particularly given the truth
of the history of the Boer people but is there a solution? I’ve been told about a remote town
with virtually no crime where the people are content to be
separated from the rest of the country. They even have their own currency. What’s interesting about this town and probably one of the biggest reasons
it is criticized is that it is the one place in the world where by law
only white people are allowed to live. Naturally, I was intrigued
and wanted to find out more so I took a trip to Orania a town in the Northern Cape Province
to find out more. While in Orania I managed
to secure an interview with the mayor my guide explained to me that Mr. Boshoff had turned down
interview requests from mainstream news outlets
like CNN and the BBC so I took the rare opportunity to sit down and discuss his vision
for the town on camera. The Orania movement is
30 years old this year. It was created in 1988
when it was quite clear that minority government
in South Africa was unsustainable and some agreement needed to be reached
with the majority of the population. One line of thinking was that human rights
and constitutional guarantees would suffice to look
after Afrikaners interest in South Africa. It was clear to us
and our leaders at that time that it would not be sufficient that in Africa especially a constitution is not always worth
the paper that it’s written on and that we really needed
something more structural, more concrete. One thing that really stands out here
is the near total lack of crime. Everywhere I went people left their cars
unlocked with the windows down. I was struck by the sight of a moped with the keys left
in the ignition all afternoon in a country with some
of the highest crime rates in the world. Let me say with a certain amount of pride that if it’s not zero
it’s quite close to zero. There are petty crimes of different kinds
in any community but in terms of the crime wave
that is all over South Africa we don’t have anything of that kind. There are different ways in which you could reach
the point of close to zero crime rate and we have succeeded in doing that. This single white enclave has been
the subject of international derision for its apparently racist mission
to keep Afrikaner culture alive but what I soon realized is
that the concept behind this town was no different to
that of the black tribal homelands an area of land 10,000 times
the size of Orania that South Africa’s white minority
are still forbidden to live on today. It is no more racist
than any black community of which there are literally
thousands in South Africa. I say that because we don’t define
ourselves, in the first instance in terms of race but in terms of culture, language
and the whole tradition. To people in the West
this town may seem bizarre but it’s clear that like many other places
in South Africa and indeed the world the people of Orania consider
the threat to their culture great enough to take extraordinary steps
to ensure its survival The Orania movement members are
more than 5,000 at the moment so it is relatively small nonetheless, we’ve created a kind
of alternative that is ready to grow. I was certainly struck
by the sense of peace in Orania something which stood in stark contrast to many of the other towns
I visited while in South Africa. Orania is just one potential solution
to this crisis and for the people living there
it seems to be working. On and off camera many people
both black and white did suggest segregation
as a potential solution to this crisis and even more worrying is
the growing number of people preparing for a race-based civil war
if another solution cannot be found. Simon is now one of the senior members
of the Suidlanders the world’s largest non-state
civil defence force a network of around 200,000 members
who believe a civil war is coming and their only option is to be prepared. Simon invited me
to the home of one of its members to take a look at the kind of preparations
these people are making. These are the preparations
of the Erasmus family which includes a hydroponic system
to be taken with them in their vehicles in the event of a civil war
a nationwide anarchy crisis. These will be laid
in their vehicles and taken down so that they can start crops
from scratch in any remote area as long as there is water. They have 5 cars
in their Clan you could say and then they have that truck
that would carry a whole of the stuff. When they move out, they’re building
a sort of canopy for the truck for refugees that they will pick up. It’s obviously just in the early stages. That’s a drier for all their veggies
you can even dry meat inside. You could bear that food. That can keep us 2 or 3 years,
definitely. The family doesn’t use it
for day to day use. It is specifically a preparation
for a nationwide anarchy situation. The scale and thoroughness
of these preparations would make you think
the apocalypse is just around the corner but Simon assured me that these were only the preparations
of one of thousands of others across the country
prepping in the same way. In fact, every year the Suidlanders hold
a huge evacuation drill where different groups
from across South Africa carry out a complex run-through
of their plan for when civil war breaks out something they believe is inevitable. All this talk of civil war seemed extreme so I asked Simon how he thought South Africa could
go down such a dark path. I think Lauren that it would be
a very spontaneous sudden thing for the simple reason that South Africa is
a bubbling cauldron at the moment. You have seen across South Africa
these spontaneous events when people run into a bunch of H&M stores
and smash them down. You’ve seen for yourself this very morning
we arrived on the scene a very short while after a nature conservation facility had been burnt to the ground
by disgruntled neighbors. Perhaps it was people who felt
that they were owed more jobs or something, we don’t know. These things happen so quickly. So many people are
embittered at the moment. Our government is woefully unable
to provide modest governance. The Suidlanders have been criticized
by mainstream politicians and media alike for their dramatic approach in dealing
with the country’s problems but as the crime wave deepens and the government’s anti-white rhetoric
is now being realized in legislation to take white land I have to wonder if we were in their shoes would we be compelled
to act in the same way and could the Suidlanders be preparing
for what is becoming an ever more realistic bloody future
in South Africa? What I found most striking
about their preparations was that we did not uncover
a mass amount of weapons or offensive materials instead we came upon first aid kits,
a hydroponic system and plenty of survival equipment. In fact, every year the Suidlanders hold
a huge evacuation drill where different groups
from across South Africa carry out a complex run-through
of their plan for when civil war breaks out something they believe is inevitable. Suidlanders Organization is the first line
and the last line of defence in the event that our worst fears
are realized and a race-based civil war
engulfs South Africa. If the choice is between segregation
and civil war the future
for all South Africans looks bleak but there is perhaps a third option
why don’t white South Africans just leave Well, this third option is
far more complex than it may appear. There is no way for the average
South African to leave South Africa. You must have
in most of these cases $300,000. That’s 6 million rand! A normal South African doesn’t make
6 million rand so there is just no way
for the normal South African to leave The Afrikaner people are
not recent migrants. Their South African roots date back
hundreds of years. They have evolved their own language,
their own culture and are living on land that their families
have farmed for generations land that was not stolen. I don’t blame those that want to stay. There is something biblical
about South Africa. You can feel it in the air. Their history lives in the very soil
they work every single day and many will not be convinced
to leave it so easily. Beyond this for those who do wish
to leave South Africa the process and costs have made it
nearly impossible for the most vulnerable
to travel beyond its borders. If I can get a chance, I will go. If I can get a better life
outside of this, I will go. Me and my two kids
I need a life to make for them because my life is ruined
because I don’t have a job there is nothing out there
I want something to happen for them because they’re still young,
I need to get it for them to have a life because if they don’t have a life
what is going to happen? The blacks are going to kill all my kids. There were rumors around here
they said they’re going to come in. I don’t know when… [unintelligible] If they take over they’re going to kill all of us. Despite having never seen
anything quite so beautiful as the stars
in the South African night sky or the vast landscapes of the farmlands I was relieved to come back home. It’s no life to live putting your children to bed
behind gated doors and cell block windows having to sleep with pepper spray
under your pillow or a gun on your nightstand. Leaving this place is
a luxury these people do not have. My South African journey came to an end while the people I met are stuck in a home
that no longer welcomes them where they must fight to justify
their very existence to a hostile majority does this amount to genocide? Not yet but according to organizations
like Genocide Watch and taking into account everything
I have seen and heard on the ground South Africa is stepping closer
to that reality every single day but could there be a light
at the end of the tunnel? Coverage of the issue has thrown
these farmers and the wider Boer population
into the global spotlight as mainstream media
like Fox News, the BBC and even CNN have begun
to report on this crisis and with this story set to play out
on the world stage it will be for South Africans
to face their future but now at least one thing is certain With the world awakening
to the plight of these people they won’t be facing it alone. …you never know
what’s going to happen. It’s like the Wild West at times some people watch Wild West movies. There’s days where you feel like you’re
in your own Wild West movie in Africa.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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