Daniel Friedman
3 minute read
6 Nov 2019
1:16 pm

We ‘support you’: Black Twitter reacts to AfriForum taking on Meyiwa murder

Daniel Friedman

'An enemy of our enemy is our friend' says a popular pro-EFF account of its decision to back the lobby group in this instance.

AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel briefs the media with members of Senzo Meyiwa's family on its decision to represent the family in his murder trial, 5 November 2019. Picture: Twitter (@AfriForum)

Lobby group AfriForum’s decision to represent the family of late Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa in the investigation into his murder has been met with support from many black people on social media.

AfriForum is described on Wikipedia as an “organisation focused on the interests of Afrikaners”.

The lobby group is often harshly slated by black South Africans on social media for incidents such as deputy CEO Ernst Roets’ decision to tweet the apartheid flag hours after “gratuitous display” of it was outlawed and deemed hate speech by Equality court.

Other controversies have included its CEO Kallie Kriel saying: “I don’t think that apartheid was a crime against humanity, but I think it was wrong”, the organisation releasing a documentary that was criticised for including footage of an interviewee defending Hendrik Verwoerd’s policies, and Roets being met with a backlash in parliament for saying it was a “historical fallacy” that white people stole land from black people.

However, the decision to agree to help the Meyiwa family prosecute their son’s alleged killers seems to have been met with support by numerous black people on Twitter.

Parody account @AdvBarryRoux, believed to be run by Zambian-born blogger Csho “Shepard” Chilala, is known for its fervent identification with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The account expressed “support” for AfriForum on the basis that “an enemy of our enemy is our friend”.

In the past, the account has not shown AfriForum much love, describing it as “a group of Klu Klux Klan (sic) who don’t have a life” as well as “a bunch of lifeless, juvenile, idiotic, useless, stupid, foolish turds with no hope of redemption”.

READ MORE: AfriForum’s Gerrie Nel to represent Senzo Meyiwa family in court

The account did add a caveat to its tweet about “supporting” AfriForum: “Come here let’s fight for [Senzo Meyiwa] together, when we are done with the incompetence SAPS and NPA, we’re coming for the Land”. This demonstrates that his support for AfriForum likely does not extend beyond this case, as the organisation is strongly opposed to the expropriation of land without compensation.

AfriForum garnered support from other black people on Twitter, ranging from expressions of “love” to the view that the organisation “should inspire all of us to be more focused”.

Several users made the joke that if AfriForum managed to solve the murder, they or other black people may vote for the Freedom Front Plus (FF+). While the party is not officially linked to AfriForum, Kriel is one of a large number of people in the organisation’s leadership who were formerly associated with the party.

Not all users showed AfriForum support, however, with some calling the family’s decision to approach the organisation “embarrassing”, “poor” and one which will make “white supremacy more efficient”.

These views are similar to ones expressed by lawyer and Country Duty founder Tumi Sole on Power FM on Tuesday night. He called the Meyiwa family approaching AfriForum an “indictment and a shame”.

“I hang my head in shame and I think that my colleagues in the [legal] profession should also do the same. We not only failed Senzo Meyiwa’s family but other victims of crime as well. It’s time that we look out for our own,” he said.

“Afriforum is about the preservation of Afrikaner culture which they put on their website and they are not ashamed to do so. We need to celebrate black excellence. We need to celebrate ourselves. We need to be proud of blackness.”

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