AfriForum’s Deputy CEO, Ernst Roets says there is a place in South Africa for white people even though many white people do not share his sentiments.
“To many white people it doesn’t feel like they have a place in South Africa…just by judging from statements made in parliament,” he said.
Reflecting on the apparent call by Australian Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, to white South African farmers to move to Australia, Roets says white South Africans need to find solutions within the country instead of emigrating.
“We need to find solutions within South Africa. We are grateful for the fact that there is international recognition about the problems facing especially white farmers while that problem is not acknowledged in South Africa.”
In an interview with Political Analysis South Africa on 5 April 2018, Roets also touched on the current controversy regarding the three-year imprisonment sentence – with one year suspended – handed down to Vicki Momberg on 28 March 2018 at the Randburg’s Magistrate’s Court. She was found guilty of four counts crimen injuria in November 2017.
Roets believes the sentence will likely raise racial tensions in the country because it is a sign of double standards.
“We have filed in the last year 113 criminal charges against people who have said things that are excessively worse than what Vicki Momberg has said but most cases aren’t followed up and the only reasonable conclusion we can make is because it’s black people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zahra Dawood, Director of the Centre for Unity in Diversity at the FW de Klerk Foundation, questioned whether Momberg’s sentence is the best remedy.
“I’m not sure that her sentence is going to inform her thinking had there been another state of intentions for her she her, would she have interrogated her racism…and where the racism was coming from,” she said.
“Institutions of governance and government must display evenhandedness in addressing hate crimes, racism from where they come,” she added.
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) also weighed in on race relations in South Africa.
The party’s spokesperson, Kenneth Mokgatlhe, says there is a place for white people in South Africa because his party only recognises one race, the human race.
“We do not believe that there are white people or black people in South Africa but that there are things which need to be corrected which happened in the past,” he added.
Mokgatlhe believes that land redistribution is the way to fix unequal power relations in South Africa adding that “once land can be redistributed to the people and the wealth shared accordingly then we are going to deal with the social problems that we have.”