Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
14 Sep 2018
11:00 am

We don’t live up to stereotypes – AfriForum

Daniel Friedman

The minority rights group's deputy CEO says their refusal to conform to public perception supposedly 'angers' their opponents.

Afriforum deputy CEO Ernst Roets in parliament | Image: YouTube

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets took to Twitter to share his view that the organisation has been confounding its opponents by not conforming to stereotypes, which he characterised as “not living up to their stereotypes”.

Picture: Screenshot.

The organisation has made headlines in the past week for what some may consider playing outside of their usual space.

While they are known for being a minority rights group, and felt by some to lobby only for white South Africans, they helped black farmer Dr Motodi Maserumule after his land was grabbed about two weeks ago and police allegedly failed to help, calling in the Red Ants to evict the land grabbers.

READ MORE: AfriForum helps black farmer evict unwelcome land occupiers

While their decision to help a black person may be considered surprising to some, the idea of helping a farmer fight land invaders is familiar territory for the group.

Roets even took to Twitter to thank a man called Themba Mdlalose after he published a Facebook post broadcasting his unusual belief that AfriForum are more likely to protect the rights of black people than the ANC.

AfriForum also joined forces with the Congress of the People (Cope) to lobby against changes to section 25 of the constitution, a move which at one point would have been seen as surprising considering the breakaway party’s roots in the ANC, but looking at party president Mosiuoa Lekota’s continued opposition to land expropriation without compensation, this was perhaps not so surprising.

READ MORE: Lekota joins forces with AfriForum on land

Also, it was reported that other members of Cope’s leadership publicly rebuked Lekota for holding a joint media briefing and announcing the campaign with AfriForum, as it was reportedly done without their knowledge.

Roets did not spend all week attempting to rebrand AfriForum, though. He also took time out of his schedule to have a twar with DA bigwig Phumzile Van Damme.

Whether the organisation is attempting to go out of its way to gain positive PR is unclear, but they certainly could use it after they were widely panned when Roets made a submission on land in parliament.

AfriForum were called the “White Black First Land First” by the ANC, and were dragged across the coals of Twitter, and were yelled at in parliament by the United Democratic Movement for their assertion in parliament that the accusation that whites stole land was “the single biggest historical fallacy of our time”.

The EFF’s Julius Malema called for a one-on-one confrontation between the party and the group, and even the conservative African Christian Democratic Party said they were “disappointed” in them.

Former ANC politician Melanie Verwoerd wrote a column on Wednesday in which she slammed the organisation and accused them of taking South Africa “to the edge of the abyss”.

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