Are white farmers panicking ahead of land conference?

Speculations are rife that white farmers are pressing the panic button ahead of the land conference following the Namibia Agricultural Union’s announcement that it was working on a farm security program.


NAU represents a vast majority of white farmers and just last week, it pointed out in its weekly read that farmers must not entertain workers they do not trust.


The union also called for them to deepen relations with their workers to enhance security, fueling feelings that it was alerting farmers against possible farm-grabbings and attacks soon after and during the congress.


Their upcoming program also comes at a time when talk of expropriation has gathered dust in Namibia while in neighboring South Africa murderers of white farmers have gone riot.


In SA, there have been reports of white farmers embarking on a “Great-Trek” to Russia fleeing the onslaught against them while some of those that have stayed behind are reportedly training in self-defense for an uncertain future.


NAU however refuted that the security program was being spurred by fears of what may happen during or after the conference, saying they were merely responding to an incident of a farm-murder reported earlier in Khoes.


“We decided that we must inform our people and get them organised on a structural level because there were a few mistakes learnt from that incident. Everybody was on their cellphones directing the police.”


“So from that, we said no we need to be organised so that when something like that happens again, the people in the regions know exactly that these are the structures, we must report this to this person and this person has all the telephone numbers of the police. I can honestly tell you that it’s nothing to do with the land conference,” said the union’s Dannie van Vuuren.


He said the program simply informs people of general safety measures that they can apply on their farms.


However, the history of land reform, especially in Zimbabwe, is awash with incidences of farm murders and injuries and The Villager wanted to know if the same did not instill a sense of nostalgia and fear.


“We from the NAU side are very convinced that there is nothing to panic about and actually we are part of the whole process which we support and we are glad that we can also give our input. We have also been invited to the land conference,” he said adding that they have been committed to land reform since independence.


Private crime fighting officer, Sheriff Sean Naude has shared reports of farm murders in South Africa yet he confirmed that local White farmers have teamed up together to “protect each other”.


Yet he said it was unlikely that the situation may turn bloody in Namibia’s land reform process.


“Obviously there is going to be people that are going to want to take action and stuff like that, but at the end of the day I think people must just take caution in the sense that there are going to be people who will try to attack and get land. I would suggest that farmers wait and see first if our country is even going to go in that direction of just taking land without compensation or stuff like that.”


“But I would not panic like now. Namibia is nowhere near what is happening in SA but of course we have had a lot more farm attacks than in the past. So it is something of a concern and I know all the farmers have gotten into these forums and WhatsApp groups to protect each other. So there is genuine concern,” he said.