Afriforum reported that although the number of farm attacks was down slightly in 2015 from 2014, farm murders increased. The number of farm murders was marginally higher this year from last year. South African province Gautang recorded the highest number of farm murders followed by Limpopo and KwaZuluNatal.
News 24 reported researcher Lorraine Claasen saying that the number of farm attacks in 2015 was 270 with 62 farm murders. In 2014, 279 farm attacks were reported while 61 murdered occurred.
“It’s disturbing that more murders were committed in [fewer] farm attacks. It shows that attackers are not cautious to kill. Sixty-two fatalities are shocking, and in most attacks, only the content of safes, cash and/or firearms were stolen.”
Critics of the farm attacks claim that there is a racial element to the attacks because most of the farmers who were murdered were white. Farm attacks in South Africa rarely consist of simple theft, and often include rapes, torture, and murder. The brutality of the attacks, and the fact that most victims are white has led many to believe that the attacks are racially motivated. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the South African Human Rights commission ruled that there is no racial motivation behind the attacks, and Commissioner Dr. Danny Thomas stated they could find no evidence for the attacks being racially motivated. Police have been criticized because of their lack of effort in combating the farm murders.
In September Afriforum stated that there had been 44 farm murders and 157 farm attacks for 2015. They accused police of refusing to fight these crimes with the necessary urgency, and called for prioritizing the fight against farm murders. Although Afriforum reported that there had been over 1,700 farm murders since the ANC’s takeover of the South African government in 1994, critics claim the numbers are much higher with at least 3,000 farm murders having occurred since 1994. South Africa currently has approximately 30,000 farmers, and was once the bread basket of Africa. Now it must import food to sustain itself.
According to Politics Web, Afriforum appeared before the United Nations in November to chastise the South African government for its lack of action in dealing with the farm murders. Afriforum’s deputy CEO, Ernst Roet, appeared before the UN’s Forum on Minority Issues in Geneve, Switzerland to persuade the UN to intervene in South Africa against the farm attacks and murders. The South African government stated that the requests to prioritize farm murders reflects a racist agenda and claims critics of the farm murders are really apartheid sympathizers.
Roet stated that he found the remarks by the South African government to be offensive and point to the inconsistent action on the part of the South African government.
“The Government is quick to argue that it does not make sense to prioritize farm murders, as these form part of a broader crime category. Yet it is easy for the South African government to prioritize rhino poaching. It is easy for the South African government to deploy more police officers to black townships when a crime crisis breaks out – and we support that. It is easy for the South African government to draw up a counter-strategy when police officers are murdered in disproportionate numbers.”
Afriforum presented several case studies to the UN to show where police have failed the victims of farm murders, and Roet emphasized the dangers of being a farmer in South Africa.
“It is twice as dangerous in South Africa to be a farmer than being a police officer. But when farm murders are discussed, the reaction suddenly is that it makes no sense to prioritize it.”
Critics of the South African government’s response to both farm murders and farm attacks have stated they don’t understand why the South African government refuses to prioritize this crime.
[Image via Public Domain]