The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Western Cape are demanding the immediate arrest of agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer and the organisers of the farm murders protest. This comes after demonstrators displayed the apartheid flag outside parliament on Sunday, October 25.
The provincial EFF said it would approach the police and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Tuesday, October 27, according to EWN.
“The court of this country has now outlawed the usage of such an extremely racist symbol and anyone found to be using such a symbol has committed a criminal offence,” said Wandile Kasibe, of the EFF, to EWN.
Hundreds of farmers and farmworkers marched to parliament on Sunday to demand that the government puts a stop to farm attacks and murders.
One protestor was seen wearing a hat displaying the apartheid flag, while another was spotted hoisting the old Boer Republic flag, according to the Cape Argus.
These actions are an attempt to undermine the law and judgement of the court, according to the EFF. They said Meyer should be arrested for “using state resources to participate in a political event in which an outlawed symbol was used without any condemnation from his side as a government representative who is meant to uphold the rule of law”.
Valerie Byliefeld, the national coordinator of Black Monday South Africa and one of the protest organisers condemned the use of the flags, saying it is not representative of what they stand for.
“The very same person who should be arrested here is Mr Malema for inciting these murders on the farmers of South Africa,” said Byliefeld to EWN.
“The EFF understands that the march was meant to raise awareness about murders on the farms and not murders committed by white racist farmers who continue to kill black people on the farms and undermine their dignity. The hoisting of a symbol of oppression and mass murder of black people in the form of the old apartheid flag is a clear perpetuation of this racial hatred against black people, which the DA is in support of,” said Melikhaya Xego, the chairperson of the EFF in the Western Cape.
Xego further said that Meyer’s failure to condemn the display of the flags suggested that he supported both the reason it was used and the context in which it was used, according to the Argus.
Meyer, however, denies that he personally saw the flag being displayed — or the man with the hat — until he watched the footage that EFF gathered their information from. He told EWN that he would not be intimidated by the EFF and said that the red berets incited violence.
The MEC made a speech addressing the protestors and says that he was ‘proudly’ standing in front of the South African national flag while doing so.
“The DA does not condone the use of the old South African flag. We agree with the ruling of the Constitutional Court from last year that a gratuitous display of the old South African flag now constitutes hate speech,” said Meyer.
Meyer said that he attended the protest because of his love for agriculture and maintained that farm attacks and farm murders are not a racial issue.
Video: Maxine February
Picture: screenshot from the video