The civil rights organisation AfriForum this past week made good progress in Washington, D.C. with its initiative to enlist support abroad for its campaigns with regard to the protection of property rights and the prioritisation of an action plan against farm murders.
As part of this liaison tour, AfriForum attended a meeting with a delegation from the American government, as well as with seven representatives in the USA Senate and House of Representatives. AfriForum was also afforded the opportunity to make a presentation regarding the situation in South Africa during a meeting of the influential pressure group Americans for Tax Reform. According to Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, this presentation was very well received.
Roets furthermore said that AfriForum is talking to research institutions, politicians and media institutions from across the spectrum. Various media institutions across the USA – including TV news programmes, online news programmes and radio stations – already conducted interviews with AfriForum.
“Our impression is that concern has already been expressed regarding the current situation in South Africa, as well as about the potential consequences that it can contain for the USA. It is our aim to get the American government, politicians and influential voices in the media to take a public stand about the situation in South Africa and to place diplomatic pressure on the South African government to protect property rights and act consistently against violent crime. The tour has been a huge success to date.”
Mariandra Heunis, a victim whose husband Johann was murdered in October 2016 during a farm attack, forms part of AfriForum’s delegation. She not only shares her story, but also offers perspective and insight with regard to how victims are affected by farm attacks.
“This is especially necessary seeing as Pres. Ramaphosa recently said in the USA that there is no such thing as farm murders in South Africa. The president’s denial of the crisis is not only an embarrassment, but also a violation of the dignity of thousands of victims who were attacked on farms themselves or lost loved ones in this manner.”
The liaison tour will continue in New York this week, where AfriForum will especially engage with media institutions.