Charge laid against journalist who burnt cross in memory of murdered farmers

Nick Motloung

A  charge of malicious damage to property was laid against a journalist from Brits who burnt down a cross in memory of murdered farmers earlier this month.

AfriForum assisted the owner of the cross to open a case at the Brits police station on Tuesday, 10 November, against Nick Motloung, a journalist at Madibeng FM and the Madibeng Insider in Brits.

Motloung ‘necklaced’ the cross, erected in Hendrik Verwoerd Avenue, on 2 November, by throwing a burning tyre at it. The act was filmed and the video circulated on social media. He admitted it to Kormorant shortly after the incident, saying “it is a message to farmers that enough is enough.”

This followed a protest by workers at a nearby farm during which a number of workers were injured when security officers fired rubber bullets when protesters allegedly tried to take a security officer’s firearms.

Afriforum said in a statement after the case was opened against Motloung that “this light-hearted, unlawful and thoughtless behaviour may not go by unnoticed.”

“South Africa is weighed down with a wave of farm murders that result in heartache and pain. AfriForum will do everything in its power to ensure that justice takes its course. We also want to ensure that the case is prosecuted successfully and an example is made of Mr Motloung that will act as a deterrent to those who are considering the same abominable behaviour,” said Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s Law and Risk Manager for Community Safety.

Police spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh confirmed that a case of malicious damage to property was opened and that the police are investigating. “No arrests have been made yet,” she said.

Also see: Cross in memory of slayed farmers torched as “message to farmers”