Written by Kallie Kriel
Friday, 05 March 2010
The civil rights initiative AfriForum responded to the five farmers who have been murdered during the past month in South Africa’s Limpopo Province – including a Belgian citizen, who died after his throat was cut this past weekend – by today writing to FIFA to object to the fact that the FIFA 2010 World Cup Stadium in Limpopo is named after an instigator to the murder of farmers, as well as a denialist of the fact that HIV causes Aids, namely Peter Mokaba.
In the early 1990s, Peter Mokaba became notorious for his slogan “Kill the boer, kill the farmer” and for denying the existence of HIV. According to AfriForum, since Mokaba started inciting people to murder farmers, already more than 2000 farmers have been killed in South Africa. The South African Human Rights Commission also ruled that the “Kill the boer, kill the farmer” slogan is hate speech.
According to AfriForum, Peter Mokaba’s denial of the existence of HIV contributed to South Africa being the country with the highest incidence of HIV in the world today (more than 10% of the population is HIV positive). In addition nearly a million South Africans have already died because of the virus.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, stated that FIFA would never allow a World Cup Soccer match to be played in a stadium named after Adolf Hitler, therefore it is unthinkable that FIFA can allow a World Cup Soccer match to be played in a stadium named after Peter Mokaba, who likewise instigated people to commit murder on ethnic grounds.
“Any World Cup match played in a stadium named after Peter Mokaba will be a slap in the face of the relatives of the thousands of victims of farm murders and HIV/Aids in South Africa,” Kriel said. If FIFA were to object to the name, it would in Kriel’s opinion send a clear message that FIFA does not condone murder and is serious about supporting the fight against HIV/Aids.
In addition AfriForum also asked FIFA to ensure that a moment of silence is observed at all World Cup matches played in Limpopo, as a symbol of commiseration with the victims of violence and HIV in South Africa, as well as for teams to play with black armbands as a sign of sympathy with the victims.
Kriel said that the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament is a wonderful opportunity for unifying the world and South Africans, therefore it is a pity that this event is being exploited to pay homage to a polarising figure such as Mokaba.
AfriForum will launch a full-scale campaign in this regard, unless FIFA distances itself from honouring an instigator to murder.
Statement issued by Kallie Kriel, CEO of the civil rights initiative Afriforum, on March 02 2010