Extreme violence in farm attacks - experts

Johannesburg - Violence perpetrated against victims of farm attacks is far worse than the public could possibly imagine, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Eileen de Jager and Roelien Schutte, two sisters who clean up crime scenes nationally, said on Tuesday at the release of a report by the Solidarity Research Institute that they had seen a definite increase in extreme violence during farm attacks.

They said if the public realised what actually happened during such attacks, it would serve as a wake-up call that would mobilise communities to be more vigilant.

"Victims are often tortured before being dragged behind cars, or they are mutilated with boiling water. It is beyond insane," De Jager said.

Lorraine Claassen, a criminologist, said it was disturbing that farm attacks were still not being viewed in a serious light.

"The extreme terror that people experience when their lives are in the hands of attackers is paralysing and incomprehensible. No person deserves to be murdered in such a barbaric, inhuman and perverted manner," she said.

Dr Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), said it was clear that the government did not view the attacks as a priority, but that a farmer was twice as likely as a policeman to be killed.

"The situation should be viewed as a national crisis, and it should be given focused attention."

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