Apartheid 2017 Still Kicking in S. Africa *
A farmer who forced a pregnant woman to ride in a cage on the back of his “bakkie” has shown “no remorse” for the psychological trauma the woman was subjected to, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) said on Thursday.
In a statement, they also slammed a Facebook video in which Linda Stenekamp is being interviewed about the incident. The league said she was “forced to record a video to collaborate with the story of the driver ‘baas’”.
The photo of Stenekamp sitting in a cage on the back of Johan Erasmus’ bakkie circulated on social media on Thursday, upsetting people who considered the incident racist and degrading to the woman.
It was earlier reported that Erasmus had just dropped livestock off on a farm outside Cradock when Stenekamp asked him for a lift.
He said there was no space for her in the cab, and that Stenekamp had climbed into the cage herself.
In a video circulated on Facebook by eBlockwatch, Stenekamp is interviewed by a woman who asks her to tell her version of events.
‘We are used to sitting at the back’
She says the “baas [boss]” had given her a lift to the garage in town as she had asked.
The interviewer tells Stenekamp to confirm that she didn’t want to get in the front because “julle is gewoont agter op ry, julle like mos die wind en goeters [you people are used to sitting at the back, you people like the wind and stuff]”.
Stenekamp says the man asked her if she wanted to sit in the front, but that she said no as it was hot and “we are used to sitting at the back”.
She says it was her decision to sit in the cage.
“The ANCWL believes that the high level of inequality in the country perpetuates racism and at the most the victims of inequality are women,” ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said.
“It is also the ANCWL’s view that there is a direct correlation between massive land ownership, extreme economic power and sheer arrogance with disregard of Black people. Those with extreme economic power and land marginalise and exploit those who are landless and are economic outcasts in the only country they call home.”
Patience Running Out
The women’s league called for government to “radically implement land redistribution and economic transformation”.
“For speedy implementation of land redistribution, the ANCWL calls for a new land audit that will be conducted at ward-based level by municipalities. The findings of the audit must be used as an accurate land audit and all land acquired illegally by any landowner must be expropriated. It is only through radical implementation of land redistribution and economic transformation that the arrogant racists will learn that Blacks are human beings too.”
Incidents of racism taking place across the country show that there are some who are not prepared to be part of a non-racist, non-sexist and prosperous country, Matuba said.
“Since 1912, Black people have overextended the olive branch to build a rainbow nation and those who are not showing any remorse to what was inflicted to Black people since 1652 have to be aware that in the near future victims of racism, with the support of peace-loving citizens of the country, might lose patience and request the fanatics of racism to leave the country.”