Elderly couple found dead on Kimberley farm

By Drum Digital
05 January 2016

Kimberley police are investigating the murder of an elderly couple after their bodies were found in a locked house on a farm in Kimberley on Monday morning.

The couple, who were caretakers on the farm, were found with gunshot wounds to their heads.

One of the farm employees is believed to have become concerned when he arrived on the farm and saw no sign of the couple; he immediately alerted the farm owner.

After the owner of the farm arrived, he contacted the police. During the investigation the man’s body was seen on the bed, through the window of the bedroom.

The police broke open the door and discovered the wife’s body on a chair in the kitchen. The firearm was found next to the husband’s body.

The couple was last seen on the farm on Sunday, 3 January 2015.

According to the South African Human Rights Commission, there has been a rise in farm attacks since 1990, with 23 % of those in 2015 ending in death.

Limpopo was the hardest hit, with 25 attacks including five deaths. Second is Mpumalanga, with 21 attacks and two murders. The Western Cape and Northern Cape were only marginally affected by the increase in violence.

In a report titled Safety and Security Challenges in Farming Communities, the commission calls for law enforcement agencies such as the SAPS and National Prosecuting Authority to step up their involvement in combating crimes against farming communities.

It also suggests the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform provide a policy brief on the status of land tenure in farming communities and establish a housing delivery system for farm workers.

Aggrey Mahanjana, secretary general at the African Farmers Association of South Africa says there are some misconceptions about farm murders that need to change.

“We live in a country that has a very high level of crime. There is a misconception that farm murders are targeted primarily at white farmers and are racially motivated. But according to the South African Institute of Race Relations, murders in South Africa are more prevalent in the homes of black people,” adds Mahanjana.

“Farmers, communities and the police need to work hand in hand to try and combat crime in the rural areas. Rural infrastructure needs to be improved to make it easy to communicate, report matters and gain better access to farms.”

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