Farm murders in South Africa increased for the fifth straight year in a row. In 2015, there were 62 farm murders and 270 farm attacks. In 2014, there were 61 farm murders and 279 farm attacks, as reported by the Civil Rights group, Afriforum.
The Northern Natal Courier reported the most farm murders occurred in the province of Gauteng, with 13. It was followed by Limpopo (11) and KwaZulu-Natal (8). The Free State and the Eastern Cape reported seven murders each, respectively.
According to Lorraine Claasen, Researcher at the AfriForum Research Institute, this is a disturbing trend.
“It’s disturbing that more murders were committed in less farm attacks. It shows that attackers are not cautious to kill. 62 fatalities are shocking, and in most attacks only the content of safes, cash and/or firearms were stolen.”
Claasen said that Afriforum hoped to stop this disturbing trend in 2016.
“We cannot allow this shocking statistic to repeat itself in 2016. AfriForum will continue putting pressure on government and international roleplayers to get farm murders declared a priority crime. We shall also continue establishing community safety networks across the country to improve the safety of communities in rural as well as urban areas.”
As previously reported in Inquisitr, farm murders intensified in 2015 in regions where Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Front have the most support. One other startling fact about the farm attacks that took place in 2015 is that they were more brutal and more victims were more brutally beaten and more women were raped. Police have continued to maintain that the farm murders are largely the result of robbery even though most of the victims are white.
Malema has continued to express his dislike of white South Africans who are the descendants of white Europeans, and he said that land would be redistributed under an Economic Freedom Front government. Although highly criticized, the current government under the African National Congress has failed to stop the farm murders.
According to the Sowetan Live, Senzeni Zokwana, the South African Minister of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries, has decided to bring together the main parties in the problem in order to work to stop the farm murders and reduce the amount of rural violence that occurs in South Africa. The minister met with a delegation from Afriforum to discuss the issue.
Acting National Police Commissioner Lt-Gen Khomotso Phahlane made a statement that said both farm murders and crimes against livestock would be made priority crimes. Both the minister and Afriforum agreed to the statement. They also agreed that problems needed to be worked out at the local level and that the support and cooperation of role players across communities were necessary in order to solve the crime problems.
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Minister Zokwana named agricultural unions‚ local governments‚ community safety initiatives and other community organisations as the organizations that needed to be involved and are the key role players in resolving the issue. He said the problem needed to be fought together.
“It is important that we fight this problem jointly‚ as it is only when we work together that we will end these unnecessary killings. We will convene this forum as soon possible in order to craft a way forward on how to combat this battle.”
Kallie Kriel‚ CEO of AfriForum, said that the meeting with the minister was constructive. He believed that creating cooperation between communities would help to solve rural crimes and farm murders.
[Photo by Pixabay]