Farm murders in South Africa: Widow’s message to USA goes viral on social media

The video message of a widow – whose husband was murdered in front of her and her children during a farm attack – to Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and the people of the USA has gone viral on social media – not only in South Africa, but also in the USA.

Mariandra Heunis, widow of Johann Heunis who was murdered on their smallholding on 1 October 2016, turned to social media as feedback on Ramaphosa’s recent remark in the USA that there are no farm murders in South Africa. Within a couple of days, the video has been watched more than 85 000 times on YouTube and more than half a million times on Facebook. The video has also been shared more than 35 000 times on Facebook and has especially been circulated by people in the USA.

“My husband was shot six times during such an attack. He was murdered in cold blood in front of me and my six year old daughter,” says Heunis in die video. “These attacks do happen. It happens almost daily. Our story is one of thousands.” Heunis then asks the people of the USA what they would have done if they were in her situation – if their loved ones were murdered and their government denies that it is happening. She makes a plea to the people of the USA to share her message, to take a stance regarding the reality of farm murders, as well as to ask their representatives to take a stance on what is taking place in South Africa.

Heunis says that she is overwhelmed with feedback and messages of support, and that she is thankful to every person who contributed in spreading the message and keeping the issue on the agenda.

Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, says the civil rights organisation is planning on embarking on a follow-up tour to the USA to subsequently enlist support for the organisation’s campaigns against farm murders and against the South African government’s attempts to expropriate private property without compensation. The organisation is planning on taking Heunis with them to the USA to enable her to share her story in person.

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