Agriculture body reports Motlanthe for hate speech

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe finds himself reported to the Human Rights Commission on Tuesday after accusing farmers of bringing the most brutal farm murders on their own heads by exploiting foreign labourers.

“Some of the most brutal farm murders are committed by foreign nationals, who were brutally exploited and made to toil without any remuneration,” Motlanthe said earlier. “The day when they demand remuneration, they are reported [by farmers] to the law enforcement units and are duly arrested and are sent back to their countries of origin.

“Of course, they come back and they go back and commit the most horrendous murders. This is why we need to condemn those who take advantage of foreign nationals in this fashion,” he said.

The former farmers’ union known as the Transvaal Agricultural Union, now simply called TAU SA, has reported him for using hate speech.

“TAU SA seriously doubts whether the deputy president had any factual proof at his disposal which could form the basis of his accusation,” Ben Marais, the union’s president said. “Based on the information in TAU SA’s data base [which includes a detailed list of farm attacks and farm murders], no such information reflects the accusation contained in the deputy president’s statement.”

Marais added: “It remains the belief of TAU SA that the deputy president’s statement could incite further violence in retribution for perceived maltreatment of employees, that it advocates hatred of a specific racial and economic group and that it constitutes incitement to do harm.

“As such it reflects insensitivity and bigotry and consequently implies that farmers are to be despised, scorned, denied respect and made subject to intimidation, ill-treatment and violent crime on the basis of group affiliation.”—I-Net Bridge

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