EDITORIAL: Voetsek to old SA flag
It speaks of a yearning for a brutal past that has no place in modern SA
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. This week, Afrikaans lobby group AfriForum held a "Black Monday" protest to draw attention to the worrying escalation in farm murders.
But it left many wondering if it was a march against crime, or a march against black South Africans. This is because some "protesters" joined in bearing the old apartheid-era SA flag.
AfriForum distanced itself from them, saying they’d asked members to wear black and keep the protect "apolitical". But it was a limp response.
Rather than draw attention to crime, the protest will have confirmed the suspicions of many who believe the agricultural sector hasn’t changed since 1994. It focused attention on the vestiges of deep-seated racism among some (but not all) white farmers.
The old SA flag is a symbol of white supremacy, akin to the Nazi swastika. It speaks of a yearning for a brutal past that has no place in modern SA. It left a sour taste for those who would otherwise have focused on the 341 farm attacks this year, in which 70 people were murdered.
AfriForum should have done more to ensure those dyed-in-the-wool racists weren’t linked to their message. Nobody wants to help those who still believe in the values epitomised by the apartheid flag. And there’s no place for those flagbearers in our society anyway.