Farm attacks should be viewed within the context of the country's high crime statistics, and not as racially motivated, President Jacob Zuma has told Beeld newspaper.
Many attacks took place on the farms of white commercial farmers, and had the appearance of being racially motivated, but this was not the case, Zuma told the newspaper in an interview on Tuesday.
He said that many murders took place in South Africa's townships, and these were not always reported in the media.
The government rejected farm attacks and would attend to farmers' concerns that the comprehensive rural safety plan was not getting off the ground.
Asked why farm murders were not being made a priority crime, Zuma said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had said in Parliament that farm attacks were just as much of a priority as any other crime.
The recent court case against the murderers of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene Terreblanche had again shown that crime, rather than politics, was the driving factor behind the attacks, he said.
Praising the country's commercial farmers, Zuma said: "Wherever I go, established farmers tell me that they're prepared to act as mentors for emerging farmers."