Land In Peril
SYNOPSIS FOR “LAND IN PERIL.”
“Land in Peril” relates primarily to the ongoing proposed land distribution in South Africa but also includes the political situation in Zimbabwe and elephant poaching in Botswana.
Believing, with the help of a former school friend’s Zimbabwean politician father, Sean Anderson returns to Zimbabwe from Britain with every hope of securing access to his late father’s ranch. Frustrated at the lack of the probability of such an outcome, he visits Jenny Ellis, a wildlife researcher in Botswana, before moving to South Africa. Sean becomes involved in animal research in a game farm where he meets and falls in love with Charlize Viljoen who is also in animal research. Charlize’s family have farmed in South Africa for more than four hundred years.
In South Africa, a large group of angry farmers, including Charlize’s brother Wikus, disenchanted with the government’s proposal to change the constitution, whereby the government could usurp their farms without paying compensation, form a vigilante force. The farmers are further angered by numerous brutal farm attacks and the murder of innocent Whites. Coupled to this are the claims by various Black activists that the previously disadvantaged populace demand restitution for their exploitation under the apartheid system. The vigilante farmer’s aim is two- fold. To sabotage key facets in the country’s infrastructure which would inhibit or prevent the black populace from gaining access to water supplies, electricity, or transport into the towns. As a result of the sabotage, it would enforce their message to the Black population that the White community had a role to play in the development of the country and without their cooperation everything that had been developed could as easily be destroyed.
The farmers steal explosives from mines and have caches hidden throughout the country and are receiving sabotage training by former special force members.
In Zimbabwe, the country’s elections are equally violent although Sean’s school friend, Nelson Chiwore, now involved in politics, hopes that the opposition party will win and bring an end to the economic collapse as well as reform of the disastrous farm expropriation that brought the country to its knees.
The Zimbabwe government however have no intention of losing power and resort to using the army to enforce this despite losing the elections. Many of Nelson’s friends disappear in the resulting violence.
In Botswana Jenny Ellis is fighting elephant poachers and when her father Harry Ellis and his wife Tanya visit her, Jenny and Harry are abducted by poachers. A high-ranking British military officer Tom Masters authorises a special forces team to follow the abductors but when they do, they find Harry and Jenny had already escaped.
Tom Masters has in the interim been alerted by an informer among the farming vigilantes of their intended sabotage plot and to avert a catastrophe he uses the same special force team to neutralise the caches of explosives before the farmers can put their plan into action. However, some of the caches are not destroyed and a hard core of the vigilante force is prepared to continue with their plot of sabotage.
When Charlize and her family are victims of their farm being attacked Sean is completely devastated and leaves South Africa. Wikus is involved in blowing up one of the caches but is released without being charged.
The outcome poses the conclusion that Southern Africa is a part of the continent which is still in peril.