This past Saturday, 5 September 2020, the ground shook in Newcastle, KZN, seeing an ocean of patriotic Newcastillian’s congregating from early morning at Trim Park, before driving in convoy to Normandien. All for a truly South African plight, the atrocious attacks on South African farmers and farmworkers.
Tractors and vehicles gathered in their hundreds, people waved flags, dressed in theme and had this general sense of community about them. Something which painted a beautiful picture, rarely seen, of South African unity.
The gathering, as previously published, was initially planned to take place from the Newcastle Show Grounds. But due to the organisers not being granted the necessary permits the procession had to be called off. Nevertheless, South Africans, fuelled with passion, showed their support and made their way to Glen and Vida Rafferty’s farm in Normandien.
Commenting on the jaw-dropping response from Newcastillians, Karen Brown said, “The response was overwhelming,” she also believes people are joining initiatives such as #moveonemillion, as it is not political. It is times and initiatives such as these, that allow people to move for change.
“As Gandhi once said, be the change that you wish to see in the world,” Karen added.
With the Newcastillians of all walks of life uniting as one, Newcastle Municipality Mayor Cllr. Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba planted three trees in honour of Glen and Vida Rafferty.
The planting of the three trees is meant to be seen as a symbol of social cohesion, and in solidarity with calls to abruptly end farm killings, and the abuse of farmworkers by certain farm owners. The trees are also in honour of those who have succumbed to COVID-19.
The planting of trees is also in line with the commemoration of Arbor week and the ushering in of Spring.
“I hope that these trees will forever be a symbolic monument for peace, unity and social cohesion among our residents of Newcastle. The trees are also a symbol of our commitment in uniting against social ills in communities and ending ‘unprovoked and senseless killings’ in Newcastle,” said Cllr Dr Mahlaba.
With the convoy of vehicles making their way peacefully to Normandien, this monumental day has shown that the time has come for all South Africans to unite and rise together for the future and success of South Africa.
Author: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer