AfriForum has confirmed that it is paying for a team of private security officers to stand guard in the volatile town of Coligny.
But the organisation on Thursday denied claims that the security personnel were only there to protect white farmers.
Coligny in the North West has been a hotbed of violence in recent days after two men were granted bail in connection with the alleged murder of 16-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu. Farm houses were burnt and foreign-owned shops looted‚ as angry residents took to the streets.
AfriForum’s head of community safety‚ Ian Cameron‚ said that the security officials were armed with “non-lethal” weapons‚ and that they were sent due to an apparent failure by police to control the situation.
“They haven’t been in the control they were meant to be in‚” said Cameron.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema tweeted that the security personnel were only there to “protect racist white farmers“. But Cameron described these claims as “nonsense“.
“I really think that Malema is a political opportunist. This is creating sensation. I don’t care who you are‚ what you are‚ what culture you belong to … we will assist you in Coligny. Anyone can ask for assistance. We’ve got more than 2000 members in the area‚ from all across the community.
“(Security personnel) are not there to encourage any form of violence. We speak with police daily‚ the security guys are doing that‚ too. They’re not patrolling streets. They’re keeping a low profile and they won’t be in the police’s way‚” he said.