Ex-cop says he never found a “politically motivated” farm murder in 30 years

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Farm murders and the so-called “white genocide” in South Africa has been in the news a lot recently. Recently, a Facebook page dedicated to “busting the myth of white genocide in South Africa” has gained a lot of traction.

But, on the other side of the discussion, right-wing commentators like Katie Hopkins, Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern have all laid a little egg about the state of affairs.

Both Southern and Hopkins spent time in South Africa recently making documentaries on farm murders.

Many of these right-leaning commentators spend a lot of time with the folks from Suidlanders.

Suidlanders have made headlines themselves – for all the wrong reasons. In 2007, the group claimed authorities covered up Mandela’s death to avoid “mass hysteria”.

At the time, they called on Afrikaners to stockpile fuel and food and to assemble at certain points for their safety.

Madiba was, of course, very much alive back then. His eventual death, however, was going to trigger a “race war”, according to Suindlanders, who described themselves as an “an emergency plan initiative”.

That never happened, but the group is now using farm murders as evidence of this so-called “race war” and have hosted a number of the right-leaning documentary makers in recent months.

The group also toured the United States where they hobnobbed with a number of prominent right-wing personalities. And after returning, they went further. An article from Vice.com notes:

Suidlanders reached out to Southern and Hopkins. “With Lauren, we didn’t pay for her ticket,” says Roche. “But we said: you come out here, and we will show you everything; we’ll cook for you, we’ll give you an experience you can’t buy.”) Southern stayed at his house. Se swallowed the entire narrative. “It actually looked like she wasn’t going to come at one point. She said she was unsure about the facts of our case. But then she changed her mind.”

Exact farm murder stats, though, are hard to come by. The numbers are constantly disputed and sometimes, those who dispute the data are threatened.

The murders are also often used as political ammo by those who argue that “white genocide” exists. But an ex-cop told Vice.com he has never found evidence that there are any political undertones to these murders.

“Look, I was in the South African police for 30 years,” says Johan Burger, of South Africa’s leading think-tank, the Institute For Security Studies. “And I was in charge of investigating a number of individual farm murders. I was also tasked with looking into the subject overall. I have actively tried to find instances of political murders. But I never found even one.”

Burger himself also notes that some of the data being used is flawed. The broadest statistical definition makes no racial distinctions.

It also includes the murders of black farmers, black farm-workers, general rural folk, murders that arise from drunken arguments and everything else.

Those broadest definitions, Burger says, are often then divided by the narrowest, whitest definition of “farmer”, which is why some stats seem so astronomical.

That doesn’t mean the safety of farmers isn’t a problem – or that some crimes might not be opportunistic. However, according to Burger at least, the claims by some of the right-leaning commentators that the murders are “politically sanctioned” simply aren’t true.

Last year, following the “Black Monday” protests,  Burger, speaking to Bongani Bingwa on 702 pointed out:

“Every year there are far more black workers killed than white farmers.

This may be representative of the demographics of the workers on farms as it is with farmers who are still primarily white, but it doesn’t mean black farmers and workers aren’t killed… It’s not about race.”