It has been eighteen days since Willem Ratte, Boer Republican, and ten others were imprisoned by the South African government without substantial evidence for their imprisonment. This questionable imprisonment has together with the continual victimization of Boers by the South African Government led Ratte on a hunger strike. The Boers is a minority in South Africa seeking their independence and self-governance as well as acknowledging that all nations have the right for self-determination.
Willem Ratte was arrested together with ten other gentlemen on their farm outside Balmoral, near Middelburg in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Initial charges brought against the accused were for the possession of illegal firearms, although closer inspection revealed that the firearms were all licensed to the accused in accordance to South African Firearm laws. The majority of rifles and ammunition ceased by the police were airguns, for which no license is required within South Africa.
Ratte, who trains disadvantaged Boer youth in metal- and woodworking on his farm, Eenzaamheid, considers his arrest unlawful. Due to a renewed rise of Boer republicans within South Africa dating back to before the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899-1902, the South African government is getting more concerned with this sense of independence of the Boer nation, although the South African Constitution makes provision for it.
With South Africa being elected for a second term on the UN Security Council and its questionable support of countries with human rights violations, the handling of its internal affairs seem to shed more light on South Africa’s UN policy. The FIFA Soccer World Cup held earlier this year and considered by many to have been very successful, has been tarnished by continual xenophobic attacks within South Africa and recent controversial comments by previous South African president, Thabo Mbeki. His comments regarding these attacks has placed a lot of doubt on South Africa’s grasp of Human Rights.
The question regarding Ratte’s hunger strike is what pressure will this have on a government that is already under pressure from a high crime rate and trade unions that want to see economical reform within South Africa. The Boer nation already suffered more than 4000 deaths on farm attacks alone and the singing of the phrase: “Kill the Boer, kill the Farmer!”, is a reminder of that which Zimbabwe experienced under the rule of Robert Mugabe. Most Boers already consider that as low level genocide.
In 2001 Ratte was found guilty of sabotage with regards to a 1997 break in at the Pomfret military base in the Northern Cape. He was convicted and spent four years in jail. On release Ratte committed himself, as a Boer republican, to Boer independence by establishing a museum for Boer genocide and history. He also started the mentioned training centre on his farm for disadvantaged Boer youth.
His hunger strike continues.
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