Farm Murders Back In The Spotlight As Kwazulu Natal Farmer Shot To Death

Farm murders in South Africa continue to increase as another farmer was murdered over the weekend. The Kwazulu Natal farmer was shot to death on his property. News 24 reported that police spokesperson Lieutenant Nqobile Gwala said officers rushed to the scene after the incident was reported.

“The 46-year-old farmer who has been identified as a Mr Vickers was shot and killed. It is understood that he had left his home and walked outside to have a cigarette when he was attacked by two men.”

Police believe that a scuffle ensued and then the farmer was shot. Two 9mm shell casings were found at the scene, and police are investigating. So far, no suspects have been taken into custody, and police said that family members were also assaulted. No motive for the attacks has been given.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, prior to the murder of the farmer over the weekend, four more farm murders took place where a 73-year-old man, visiting his family from the United Kingdom, and a 9-year-old girl were murdered. All the victims were bludgeoned to death. Police are investigating the crime, but no suspects have been taken into custody. The family’s Mercedes SUV was stolen and found 40 kilometers away. Nothing else was taken, and police have given no motive for the crime.

News Ghana reported that South Africans are deeply dismayed by the latest farm murders, and there are renewed calls for the police to take action to put an end to the murders. Marius Redelinghuys, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party Shadow Deputy Minister of Police, emphasized the need for the police to get more deeply involved in solving and ending these crimes.

“This horrific incident again demonstrates the urgency to act on enhancing rural safety across the country, and in the north-western parts of Gauteng (Province) specifically.”

Although police have promised to make farm murders a priority crime, so far the South African government and police have failed to effectively address the issue of farm murders. Farming in South Africa is the most dangerous occupation worldwide, and farm murders in South Africa were up in 2015 while farm attacks were down.

In his state of the nation address last month, President Jacob Zuma said that the anti-drug units would be reestablished within the police, although no mention was given about the farm attacks. So far, the number of farm murders for 2016 totals 15. Farm attacks in the country have increased, and 63 have already been reported this year.

Although farm attacks do happen globally, they are 700 percent more likely to happen in South Africa than anywhere else in the world according to the South African Solidarity Research Institute (SRI). They also reported that the chance of a farmer being murdered in South Africa is four to six times more likely to happen than for the general population.

Since 1994, when apartheid ended, over 1,700 farm murders have been committed, although the estimates of the numbers are considered to be higher, with critics estimating the number to be closer to 3,000 to 4,000. Various civil rights groups, including Afriforum, have called for the police to release more accurate statistics on both farm murders and farm attacks. Although the police have rejected the idea that the murders are anything more than simple robbery, the brutality of the attacks and that fact that many of the victims are white points to other possible motives for the crimes.

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