OPINION: ‘A human being is not a monkey’

DEAR Editor,-

Congress of the People (COPE) calls on farmers and hunters to eliminate the ongoing trend of killing innocent people mistaken for animals.

We say the recent killings of people mistaken for monkeys and warthogs by farmers and hunters are wicked acts.

As much as we condemn the killing of farmers by criminals in the country, COPE wants to strongly condemn the shooting and killing of innocent people mistaken for animals by farmers.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a black or a white farmer, we are all humans and deserve to be treated equally and with respect.

How can you mistake another human being for a monkey and then shoot at it?

In the first place, monkeys are not dangerous so why shoot at them without first verifying?

We agree and understand that people are being attacked every day on their farms and we also believe that people have the right to defend themselves on their properties, but to kill an innocent person and then claim you thought it was a monkey, is cruelty at its best.

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Just this week, at a Letsitele Farm in Tzaneen, local police reported that a man was on duty at a farm when he was sent by his foreman to go and fetch a work tool from their storeroom.

Riding his bicycle on his way back, he was shot in the head.

The suspect claimed he mistook him for a monkey.

Hardly a month ago in Limpopo, it was reported that a hunter hunting for warthogs one evening heard movements in the bushes and fired shots in that direction, killing a man.

The suspect allegedly said he thought it was a bush pig.

But the question is: How do you shoot at a movement or noise?

Just recently, a 12-year-old child in KZN lost his life and this could have been prevented.

A farmer shot at the child because he thought the boy was a monkey.

According to the report, the boy was climbing a tree in search of guavas at a local farm when he was shot and killed.

COPE says all these incidents show the negligence and irresponsibility of our people and we are beginning to believe that some of these murders are committed deliberately.

A human being and an animal are two different things.

We are hoping that the police will do proper investigations and get to the bottom of these cases.


COPE National Chairperson and Member of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature


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