The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa, a commercial farmers union, has accused President Zuma of “hate speech”. The union also threatened to drag the president to the Equality court, if he fails to give an “unconditional apology” to them.
The union also said that it is anticipated that the president would retrace his steps. However, to forestall obstinate attitude from the president, the union stated that its lawyers had sent a letter to the president. Not only that, the union also put across their message via “e-mail to President Jacob Zuma‚ and gave it to the sheriff for personal handing over to Mr Zuma”.
The union accused the president of “hate speech” during a National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC). The “intent and innuendo” that emanated from the president’s speech was lashed on them when the party had its 104th anniversary celebration on 8th January.
The union however stated that, it got infuriated when the president alleged that, [as contained in their letter, which reads in part]
“All black tribes were indigenous to South Africa when whites arrived in 1652.”
“White people who own land are thieves;
“The whites who came to South Africa were thieves‚ criminals and robbers;
“Whites in South Africa stole land without remuneration or agreement.
The group recalled how Zuma derailed from his speech and blasted the farmers. He also accused most farmland owners of forcefully taking lands from native black South Africans. Hence, the union is unhappy with the president’s speech, and they demand an “unconditional apology”. They wrote,
“Notwithstanding the written prepared speech‚ you deviated therefrom and made the following statement which is of grave concern to our client: ‘Comrades‚ the challenges of poverty‚ inequality and the unemployment have their roots in the vast tracks of land that was stolen from the indigenous people of South Africa.”
The union maintained that it “has a serious problem with the allegation that vast tracks of land in South Africa were stolen from the indigenous people of South Africa.” Hence, they blatantly labeled the president’s remark as “factually and historically simply incorrect”.
Reacting to the matter, the union’s lawyers posited that they have the union’s backing and “have instructions to request…an unconditional apology to all land owners in South Africa‚ and to white land owners in general‚ for the hurtful‚ harmful and hatred infused statement you have made”.
Concluding its statement, the union made it clear to Zuma that his speech apparently “constitutes hate speech in terms of section 10(1) of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act‚ Nr 4 of 2000” and “should yourself and the ANC not be prepared to furnish an apology‚ our client will have no alternative but to take the matter to the Equality Court for the necessary relief.”
The Transvaal Farmers Union is mostly made up people who originate from Boer/Afrikaner. One of the aims of the union is to guard the agricultural sector in the country against any form of attacks by communist or other quarters.