The following article was previously published on 11 November 2017 on the BLF website and is reissued by BO.
BLF stands with Tshkolo William Dikoko, Thabang Riet, and the minor who decided that landlessness, hunger and a commodified colonial education will not stop them from enjoying a basic right to eat.
On 9 November 2017 the three men were each convicted and sentenced, by the Barkly West Magistrate’s Court in Kimberley, to correctional supervision for a period of 24 months including six months house arrest and community service for 384 hours. They were further declared unfit to possess firearms and ordered to obtain nature conservation education via rehabilitation programmes. The magistrates finding and sentence are shockingly harsh in the context of the big historical land theft by the white settlers in this country.
The three black men were convicted and sentenced for entering the Mattanu Private Game Reserve outside Kimberley, killing an animal, and dividing the meat between themselves so as to satisfy their unrelenting hunger.
In 2017 the scourge of racism yields landlessness, where black people can be subjected to being foreigners in their own country, while the settler coloniser, the Kriek family continues to own the private game reserve. This settler colonisers who possessed this stolen land since the beginning of the 90s have even named the reserve, “Mattanu”, which means “gift from above”.
How can the settler coloniser continue to enjoy the land and animals as gifts from heaven, while black people are ceremoniously sjambokked through landlessness, hunger, lack of education and then antiblack judicial injustice.
BLF condemns the judicial ruling that found the three men to have trespassed, and killed a protected animal. Are black people not protected from hunger and landlessness in their own country? How can a “rare black onyx” be more important than a black person? Black people are slaughtered at more than 50 a day, because of landlessness and hunger – how then can the noble use of an animal as food be a problem?
White people kill animals to stuff there heads and keep them as trophies, but it’s not seen as a crime.
White people have come and stolen our land, destroyed our animals, enslaved and massacred the black race – still they praise their god as having gifted them with all this.
How long will we tolerate this white racist legal system that maintains black people as hungry and landless then punishes them for doing what humans do, eat. The Roman Dutch law does not regard black people as humans.
Magistrate Veliswa Sityata, failed further in recognising that the lack of education that the three are subjected to is directly because we live in a colonial state, with a commodified colonial system, that only trains black people to be functionaries. For these three men, it is persons like baas Kriek who must determine if and whether they can be a gardener or a security guard. BLF thus continues to call for Free Decolonised Education, an education that as Sobukwe said would mean, “service to Afrika”.
BLF has maintained that there remains no justice in this neocolony. The court’s decision shows that black people have no right to food, land or even agency to solve the problems created by the settler coloniser. Essentially a court of law, will maintain black people as landless and hungry. Why are these three men punished for being hungry? Why are they being punished for being landless? Why has education become a punishment, and not a right, and duty of our community?
BLF calls on President Zuma, and all those who say Radical Econlmic Transformation now, to return the land from land thieves like the Kriek’s, and to declare free education now!
BLF further calls for the decriminalization of “theft” when food is taken for the purposes of consumption. Our people are hungry because the settler colonisers like the Kriek’s, Ruperts, Basson’s and other white land thieves stole our land and animals and then reduced black people to being less than animals – fit only for slave labour and jail! Black people cannot be criminals for taking food to eat!
BLF salutes the three convicted black people for their undeterred approach to solving their hunger which is created and sustained by land dispossession!
The land belongs to black people, all of it. This includes the rare black onyx, all the rest of the animals on the ground, the birds in the sky, the fish in the seas as well as the minerals across the ocean beds and beneath the ground.
White people have never behaved as guests, they have only raped and pillaged. They must go home!
Take the land, feed a nation!
Take the land, train a nation!
Take the land , build a nation!
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT
10 November 2017
Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]
Cell: +27 79 486 9087
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
(Deputy National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 82 216 7664