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Published on Apr 24, 2012

We believed that there were 2 617 farm attacks from 1990 to 2010, but we were wrong. The truth is much worse.

Nature tends to be quieter on a Sunday. It's a sacred silence. Almost as if the birds, the animals and the winds know that a Sunday is a day of rest. And that is how it was that day on the farm when he was buried. As the coffin was being lowered into the earth, someone said: "The land is mourning."

All over South Africa, the land is mourning. Families are mourning; communities are in mourning; farm workers are mourning; the land is mourning. Put yourself in the shoes of a woman whose husband was killed in the most brutal of ways. A child whose father was tortured to death. A husband, whose wife was raped, burnt with an iron and then murdered.

If all the tears that have flowed could be preserved, it would have filled an ocean. Yet, too few share in the mourning. Too many are left cold by the tears. When talking to family members of victims, all you want to say is: "How can I help? When looking at displaced farm workers, you lift your head heavenward, asking: "Lord, how did this happen?" Put yourself in the shoes of those who have to live in fear and anxiety from one day to the next, the very people whose sole purpose it is to provide our food: my food, your food, and that of our country.

This is what the book, Land of Sorrow, is all about. We want to share in the sorrow. We want to remember those so brutally murdered, and to those left behind, we want to say: "We care." To the farming community we want to say: "You are in South Africa's thoughts."

With this book, we want to urge everyone in South Africa to join us in mourning. This book puts a mirror up in front of us. It confronts us with a picture that is crying out: "How could a country allow so many tears?" No government should get away with allowing so many murders on a section of its community. Solutions must be found in national dialogue so that it won't be possible for government to ignore farm murders any longer. Those who have lost their lives may not be forgotten.

Through the book, and the bigger cause of stopping the brutal murders, their death gains more significance. The book sends a message to the victims that their loved ones are remembered. There are people who care. They are not alone. May Land of Sorrow help South Africa to unite in mourning so that there will be less mourning in the future.

You have a chance until 20 May to tell your story of how farm attacks affected you, your family or community. Join us in building a book monument to farm attacks in South Africa. Make sure that your experience is documented in the next edition of Land of Sorrow. Do this in memory of your loved ones and tell your story.

What is your story?
Join us in building the monument by telling your story in one of the following ways:

Visit http://treurgrond.maroelamedia.co.za/..., and complete the online form.
SMS the word "plaas" to 34388. (Kraal-Publishers will call you to document the attack on you)
Send an e-mail to treurgrond@solidariteit.co.za
Fax your story to 086 593 2882.
Contact Kraal-Publishers on 012 644 4329.

Special thanks to the voice of Adam Tas
Music by Thomas Newman & Cinematic Orchestra
Video by Elrich Yssel & Bea Pretorius


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