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Facebook post ‘misunderstood’

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By Jan Cronje

Western Cape - A legal adviser acting on behalf of a senior traffic officer who posted messages on Facebook apparently calling for violence against farmers, said the messages’ true meaning had been misunderstood as the officer was reacting to the alleged slaying of a farmworker’s dog by a farmer.

Nine days ago the senior officer, who works in Ceres, commented on a Facebook thread, in Afrikaans, that “we must again pick up our AK47s here in the f*****g Western Cape. I am sick of farmers and the DA”.

The posts continued by stating that the DA wanted to make the Western Cape a farmers-only province. The comments came as tensions rose in the area prior to the resumption of a farmworkers’ strike.

A screen-grab of the officer’s posts was circulated on right-wing websites, such as CensorBugbear.com.

The legal adviser, Carina Papenfus, said the posts were in truth a reaction to a farmer who allegedly had shot a worker’s dog in De Doorns on Christmas Day. She said they were not directed against all farmers in the Western Cape.

“Photos (of the worker’s dog) touched him deeply,” said Papenfus, adding that the officer then “reacted by commenting on a Facebook page that dealt with the matter”.

“When (the officer’s) messages are placed in context, it is clear that he only meant that he has had enough of such actions by farmers against farmworkers and defenceless animals,” added Papenfus.

The officer has received threats on social media. The Witzenberg municipality is investigating his actions.

Cape Times

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