Free State fires 'a disaster'

2012-08-13 09:38

Bloemfontein - Thousands of hectares have been destroyed by veld fires fanned by strong winds in the Free State, Volksblad newspaper reported on Monday.

"This is a disaster, I have never seen something such as this," farmer, Sias Hoffman, from Dewetsdorp, told the newspaper.

He said he was grateful for what he had left, but that many farmers had lost everything.

His son and a farm worker were injured in the fires and were treated for burns.

Farmers in various districts could do nothing, but watch as their grazing and animals were destroyed by the runaway fires, the newspaper reported.

Huge damages were reported in the Dewetsdorp and Wepener districts in the southern Free State, and in Memel in the eastern Free State.

Veld fires were also reported at Hobhouse, Smithfield, Bloemfontein, Karee, Brandfort, Kroonstad, Ladybrand, Fouriesburg, Ficksburg and Clocolan.

Free State department of agriculture spokesperson Malcolm Procter said more than 20 veld fires had been reported since Saturday in the Free State.

- Have you been affected or are you there? Send us your stories and photos.

  • dieter.muller.942145 - 2012-08-13 09:45

    Elderly farmer killed near Jansenville 08:42 (GMT+2), Mon, 13 August 2012 An elderly Jansenville farmer has been killed and his wife seriously injured in an attack at his homestead near the town. Police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Pierre Harmse, says 70-year-old Owen Charles died at the scene and his wife has been transferred to a Port Elizabeth hospital. Harmse says the attack happened at the farm Armadale between seven- and ten o'clock on Sunday night. Five men, armed with knives, stabbed Charles to death and seriously injured his wife, before taking an unknown number of firearms and fleeing with his bakkie

      ann.murray.9279 - 2012-08-13 09:50

      This is just awful - when will the slaughter stop? My heart is also with those farmers who have been so badly affected by these fires. Condolences to all the friends and family of the deceased and also to those who have lost so much.

      JHLR73 - 2012-08-13 11:30

      Why the hell do so many people give thumbs down on this comment?? An elderly couple being murdered like thousands of other gets killed, somebody decides to post it and then get all the thumbs down!!?? So is this how it is in SA, people can get murdered on farms left, right and center, as long as we do not speak about it or post it on the internet all is not fine!!That is why SA is headed in the direction it is headed in, because of the people who decided this comment deserves a thumb down..

  • kevin.moxham.3 - 2012-08-13 10:19

    I hope the SAPS have the capacity to investigate how these fires were started...?

  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-08-13 10:25

    The gov should assist these affected farmers. I know it sounds utopian.But we are talking about farmers who feed the nation.

  • robynne.els.1 - 2012-08-13 10:29

    Terrible thing to have happened but hey look on the bright side the destroyed farms will be a bit safer as the land demanding thugs only want developed and thriving land!

  • julie.j.vanrensburg - 2012-08-13 10:31

    It wold NOT surprise me if these fires were started by ANC-backed thugs in their efforts to drive the farmers off their land in order to be taken over without compensation - a-la Julius Malema and his sidekick/s - under the illusion that by doing this, it woul fight poverty. And make no mistake, government isn't going to compensate these (WHITE) farmers who have lost everything either. These moronic government officials and their followers don't stop to think that by killing and impoverishing farmers they are creating a food shortage - as it is, the commercial farmers are already feeding millions of 'locusts' and 'parasites' who have adopted a culture of entitlement, regarding free food, housing, money, whatever as their birthright without ever having to apply that dirty four-letter word, WORK, which is something that has to be done to earn a living... I SPIT on Zuma and his predecessors for allowing this state of affairs to develop in what was once a stable, prosperous and safe country - and YES, warts and all, under the previous government, work was plentiful, crime was at an all-time low, but communists like Nzimande, Cronin, Kasrils et al and their ilk didn't like that and with the help of the Soviets, and De Klerk selling out to them, the country has now slid into a cesspool of filth, crime and corruption which is affecting all but the top brass who are depriving mainly their own people from the promised "better life for all."

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-13 11:22

      Julie - That is a bit of a dumb statement to make. Veld fires are as old as the veld itself. Every year hundreds of veld fires break out around the country at this time of the year. The simple act of throwing a cigarette butt into dry grass can lead to a massive veld fire in a matter of minutes. I am defintely no fan of the anc or any of its affiliates but to go around blaming them for veld fires is a bit stupid.

  • rainbow.stubbz - 2012-08-13 10:59

    Big Problem

  • delish7564 - 2012-08-13 11:24

    Bad enough these farmers fearing for their lives, but to lose everything to Nature, if indeed it was started by the weather, must be soul destroying! Horrific way to die be it man or beast :(

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-08-14 08:46

    The "weather "can not start a fire unless there was lightning, so we must look at alternatives like "man" being the culprit. Now who could this be? Any suggestions? Some political party maybe? A party that wants to take over white farms?

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