“The minister today turned a wound, which had barely made another small scab, into a thriving open wound,” said Roland Collyer, a farmer from Normandy in KwaZulu-Natal, where Glen (63) and Vida Rafferty (60) was killed three weeks ago.
Collyer is related to the couple and is also the chairman of the local farmers’ association.
He says farmers understood that Monday’s meeting with Police Minister Bheki Cele would be a meeting between community leaders to discuss security issues in the area.
It soon became clear, according to Collyer, that part of the community had other plans when a large group of people showed up in Normandy and shouted and insulted commercial farmers.
Collyer says Cele came to evict the farmers and threw gasoline on the fire in a community where land issues have been causing great friction for years.
Collyer asked Cele if he thought it was right that smallholder farmers ‘livestock damaged commercial farmers’ crops.
“Who do you think you are?” Cele asked Collyer.
Cele told Collyer he was disrespectful.
Saturday’s meeting with the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, did not go much better, according to farmers.
Somnandi Hadebe, a smallholder farmer, told Zikalala that white farmers regularly kill black people, but now Zikalala visits the area because two white people have been killed.