Farmer 'surprised' by all the support, condemns use of old SA flag

31 October 2017 - 06:39 By Aron Hyman
Chris Loubser pays tribute to wine farmer Joubert Conradie.
Chris Loubser pays tribute to wine farmer Joubert Conradie.
Image: Screengrab via YouTube/TimesLIVE

Boland farmer Chris Loubser, whose a plea for action on Facebook sparked Monday's nationwide protest against farm murders, says he was surprised by the support his message received.

After 47-year-old Stellenbosch wine farmer Joubert Conradie was murdered on his farm last week‚ Loubser made an impassioned plea for farmers from across the country to take some sort of action in protest against farm killings.

He called on people to wear black to mourn those who have been killed.

“It was a big surprise that this thing became so big. It shows that there is a higher hand at work here. I can’t speak for other places‚ but the one we did in Cape Town was completely for peace and is offered to our creator‚” said Loubser.

“We need to stand together. We believe that we will be heard somewhere. There are people that have already contacted me that want to go and speak with political parties‚” he said.

He said he wanted to go back to being a farmer and would let other people take the cause forward.

Loubser said he only knew Conradie from farmers’ conventions‚ but his death put a face to farm murders.

“I think because it wasn’t Koos in Bloemfontein‚ whose face you didn’t know‚ it was Joubert‚ a guy whose face I can remember‚” said Loubser.

Social media posts from other parts of the country showed some people waving apartheid-era flags and wearing shirts depicting a racial agenda.

A Times photographer witnessed one person with a T-shirt bearing an old SA flag being chastised by other protesters at the Cape Town event. The man was told to turn his shirt inside out.

Loubser decried this kind of behaviour‚ saying this attitude was part of the reason why farmers were attacked.

“It just takes one guy to wave an old apartheid flag and to break down everything you try and build‚ to break down everything which 100 other people are trying to do to improve our image‚” said Loubser.

“These guys must go and think a little bit‚ that’s why these things are happening to us.”

Loubser’s sentiment was echoed by the organiser of the Cape Town protest‚ Talita Basson.

Convoys of vehicles from as far as Klapmuts‚ 50 kilometres from Cape Town‚ converged on Green Point Stadium. Basson‚ who is 21‚ said she was angered when she saw on social media that there were people waving apartheid flags.

“I was born in the new South Africa. I know nothing about the old South Africa. Yes‚ bring your pride‚ bring your feeling of unity‚ but leave the old South African flag at home because it stands for bad things‚” said Basson.

“The bigger picture we are trying to paint is‚ look after your neighbour‚ look after your fellow man and we did it all in the name of the Lord. That’s how we managed to stand up through all of this‚ through prayer and I really want to get it that out there that we couldn’t do it without strength from God‚” she said.