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“Kill a poor service delivery, fire a councillor!”

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Responding on Thought Leader.

My maternal great grandparents, as well as my maternal grandparents; uncles and aunts, including numerous cousins were born and raised on various Boere farms in the North West/ Northern Cape and Free State provinces. Many have also died here. These people have told me some of the most horrendous stories of living and dying on these farms over the years and generations. As a child growing up in the Free State, I, together with my parents visiting our relatives on these living-hell-farms, have personally experienced some of the dehumanizing ordeals these poor people had to live with on a daily basis for years and years.

 In my opinion many Boere farms epitomized the cruelty and brutality of Apartheid, as well as the extreme abuse and dehumanization of Black people under the obnoxious supremacist racist system. I’ll bet my telling so far is familiar to many, many other Black South African people of all shades and tones of  Blackness. Therefore, “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer!” was, in my view, a chant of extreme anger and frustration at probably one of the most important cornerstones of Apartheid’s sustenance and perpetuation. Apartheid-human-dignity-degradation, like slavery, was up to a point of course, extremely effective at getting the highest productive returns from the exploited and abused while killing them slowly and excruciatingly physically, mentally, and emotionally painfully.

 I’ll argue that at its purest level, the chant was directed at a system, an inhuman and unjust mode of production; it wasn’t necessarily personal or person-specific. Unfortunately systems and modes of production are made up of specific people in specific relations. Therefore, when taken literally, real specific people die. This must not be misconstrued to mean that I justify or condone murder and/ or crime though; and I conclude that the “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer!” chant is outdated and has outlived its meaning in the post-1994 new Rainbow Nation South Africa. The real enemy of South Africa today is multi-dimensional and includes, amongst other things, poor service delivery. We should now perhaps say, “Kill a poor service delivery, fire a councillor!”


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