Farm murders on the rise - AfriForum

2015-01-15 16:02
Police investigate a murder scene at the Patriotfontein farm outside Fochville. (File: Beeld)

Police investigate a murder scene at the Patriotfontein farm outside Fochville. (File: Beeld)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - A total of 67 people were murdered on farms across South Africa in 2014, AfriForum said on Thursday.

"We are releasing the statistics because the government, particularly the police department, has been refusing to release any information about farm attacks since 2007," deputy AfriForum CEO, Ernst Roets, told reporters in Pretoria.

The statistics were jointly released by AfriForum and the Transvaal Agricultural Union (Tau SA).

"We have found that in the last five years there has been a gradual increase, not only in farm attacks, but also in farm murders across South Africa," said Roets.

In a bid to curb the farm attacks, Roets said the two organisations would be implementing several strategies, which include protests.

"We need to follow a double strategy. One area of focus is a campaign to put pressure on government through the media, protest rallies and so forth.

"The other part is to get communities more involved. We are saying people should look after their own safety, people should be aware of the problem and get involved with community safety structures," said Roets.

The statistics indicate that there were 277 farm attacks that the two organisations could verify in 2014.

The organisation's statistics show that the number of murders on farms rose from 62 in 2013 to 67 in 2014.

The farm attacks rose from 231 to 277 in the same period.

They said this was the highest figure recorded since 1990. A total of nine murders on farms have already been recorded this year.

TAU SA assistant general manager, Chris van Zyl, said the number of commercial farmers was decreasing annually.

"From 2006, the number of farm murders is within the 60 to 67 range. Given the reality that the number of farmers are decreasing annually, that is very concerning," said Van Zyl.

He said farm residents should take charge of their own security.

Not racially motivated

Earlier this week, Deputy Agriculture Minister Bheki Cele said farm killings were not racially motivated.

"We are urging everybody, starting with the media and everybody - take the race issue out of farm murders," Cele said.

"The people that are being killed are farmers... Whether they are white, black, yellow, green or purple, we have seen farmers coming under attack and we treat it as such," he said, adding that his department took the killings seriously.

On Thursday, Van Zyl said analysis showed that the majority of murdered victims were white.

"We don't want to racialise it. My figures indicate that farmers, black and white, are the single greatest group within the murdered victims' environment," he said.

"All we are saying is that the vast majority of murder victims in the country are farmers. If we analyse the victims, the majority are white farmers."

Cele said the agriculture department had a limited role in combating the murders.

"Agriculture cannot say we will arrest those that kill the farmers. We wish we could, but we can't. We cannot say we will shoot them," said the former police commissioner.

On Tuesday Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana acknowledged that the farm attacks were a worrying trend and suggested a forum of farmers, farm workers and farm communities to harmonise relations.

Read more on:    afriforum  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  farm attacks

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.