Farm Murders in South Africa Continue As Paris, Like Cecil The Lion, Get More Attention

In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, and the murder of Cecil the lion several months ago, farm murders in South Africa have largely gone unnoticed. The Global Travel Industry News reported that a Facebook posting challenged the tourism ministers of both Zimbabwe and South Africa to take a serious interest in the matter because the treatment of each country’s citizens, regardless of race, color, ethnic origin, religious beliefs and political affiliation, impacted the ability of each country to promote itself abroad in the tourism industry. Failure to take this matter seriously would ultimately affect the tourism industry and drive down the number of tourists in each country, affecting the local economies.

Facebook posting says that Cecil the Lion more famous than farm murders in South Africa
Facebook posting says that Cecil the Lion more famous than farm murders in South Africa

Although the farmers weren’t as famous as Cecil the lion, the post went on to say that the lives of the farmers matter too, and the world has done nothing to correct the injustice. The article further stated that sustainable tourism is largely focused on the environment and not the people of a country. Protection of the people of the country is a key element in creating a sustainable tourism approach. Tourism ministers in both countries need to speak out against the abuses against farmers and make ending the farm murders a priority.

The Citizen reported that Afriforum, a South African civil rights group linked to the Solidarity trade union, planned to launch a global campaign to end the farm murders. Ernst Roet, the deputy CEO of Afriforum, stated that this would be the largest global anti farm murder campaign to date.

The campaign started in November, and its goal has been to contact both the United Nations, as well as 5,000 international and foreign media institutions. The group planned to call for a day of protests against the farm murders. Roet stated that December 1 marks the fifth anniversary of the gruesome murders of the Potgeir family on their farm near Lindley in the Free State.

The purpose of the campaign is to bring about the mobilization of public support to make farm murders a priority in South Africa. South Africa currently has 30,000 farmers. The estimated number of farmer murders currently stands at over 1,700 although estimates have gone as high as at least 3,000, making farming in South Africa the most dangerous occupation in the world.

Roet said the government has failed to act in these murders.

“It has been five years now and government still fails to act. Since then, hundreds of other farmers have been killed. If government then refuses to act, we will make sure that they are embarrassed internationally for their failure to act.”

Farmers in South Africa struggle against farm attacks
Farmers in South Africa struggle against farm attacks

The most recent murder to take place was that of a Bela Bela game farmer. News 24 reported that a 53 year old game farmer was attacked in his home while sleeping. Police suspected the farmer had been strangled, and the suspects made off with the farmer’s safe. It contained a firearm, ammunition and an undisclosed amount of cash. A farm worker and a woman who lived on the property were not hurt in the incident. Police apprehended a 29 year old suspect and later recovered both the safe and its contents.

As previously reported by Inquisitr, Afriforum reported that there were currently 44 farm murders and 157 farm attacks in 2015. One farmer who was viciously attacked and then murdered after the report was released was overpowered by seven intruders who entered his farm. The suspects in that case made off with $21.64 (R300).

[Image via Getty.]