SA Farmer Digs In, Vows To Do 'Whatever It Takes' To Defend Land
If someone came for your property, would you fight them to the death for it?
Would you dig in against the power of the federal government, knowing that retreat simply isn’t an option for them?
Johan Steenkamp is.
After a lengthy legal battle fighting away a government offer of “fair pay” that only amounted to roughly 10 percent the value of his 8,000-acre game farm in the Limpopo province, according to the U.K. Daily Mail, Steenkamp received a letter telling him to get ready to hand over his keys earlier this year.
“If it comes to a fight so be it,” Steenkamp told the Daily Mail. “I am not going to leave the country and I am not going to leave my farm.
“I will do whatever it takes to defend my farm. I don’t want confrontation, but the Constitution says that I have the right to defend my property and my family and that is what I will be doing if anyone comes for my farm.”
Steenkamp told the Daily Mail he will not be initiating force, but instead has a gate and security in place.
Faced with the possibility of force being used against him, the farmer said he is not afraid. “If others use force and it starts to get out of hand then I will defend myself.”
Steenkamp may or may not recognize that government sieges are ugly and never end well. Even the ones that take place on American soil can be gruesome.
When stakes are high, sieges are more likely to end like Ruby Ridge and Waco than like the Bundy standoff did.
The South African Police Service is more than capable of putting a farm under siege. The police force’s equipment roster lists machine guns, grenade launchers, and armored vehicles. If the military gets involved, their arsenal stops just short of nuclear weapons.
The United States Army’s field manual for basic soldiering skills, FM 21-75, dedicates an entire chapter to fighting positions. “From the time you prepare and occupy a fighting position, you should continue to improve it,” states the manual. The most robust entrenchment it details takes 11 hours to build, can survive a direct hit from a small mortar, and has “good” protection from a nuclear blast.
With certainly more than 11 hours and an entrenchment tool, Steenkamp could make good on his promise to dig in like a tick and defend his property, which the Daily Mail said he estimated was worth about 200 million South African rand, or about $14 million.
With some friends and a few guns thrown in the mix, the government of South Africa could have an actual battle on their hands.
This battle may never make it to the headlines, however.
Prime Minister Cyril Ramaphosa has disputed that the land is being taken, saying “this is no land grab. Nor is it an assault on the private ownership of property. Land reform in South Africa is a moral, social and economic imperative.”
Liberal America is more than willing to peddle this government slant, with progressive commentator Shaun King himself rushing to comment on President Donald Trump’s feud with South African leadership.
Here is what Trump posted on Twitter last week:
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2018
And here’s King’s take on that.
A disgusting lie.
What Trump is now doing with his back against the wall is playing to his racist white base to make sure they don't leave.
NO "large scale killing of farmers" exists in South Africa. NONE.
A complete fabrication from white supremacists. https://t.co/nk6b049iqv
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 23, 2018
The real statistics don’t lie.
In the government fiscal year of 2016/17, the most recent year data is available, there were 638 attacks on farms, with 74 of them leading to death, according to Africa Check, a non-profit fact-checking organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa, that partners with the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg..
With a list of 190 farms slated to be seized now circulating, it looks like the war on South Africa’s white farmers is just getting started.
So if the government ever demands you hand over your keys and rights for the social “imperative,” would you run or start filling sandbags?
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