Government should reflect on farm attacks

Dr Pieter Groenewald

The confusion surrounding farm attacks and farm murders is caused by the state itself because no statistics about this have been kept since 2007, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the Freedom Front Plus’ chief spokesperson on Police says.

“This criticism should be laid in front of the door of the state and not that of the people who are rightfully worried about the attacks and everybody who are being affected by it,” Dr. Groenewald said.

Figures from the SA Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU) which were published today, shows that farm attacks have increased and there are more incidents nationwide than there had been in 2012.

There have often been reports about the extraordinary level of cruelty which accompanies these attacks.

According to the ISS, 120 out of every 100 000 farmers are murdered as opposed to the 31 in every 100 000 ordinary citizens and 54 in every 100 000 police members. In the past ten years, more than 800 people have been murdered on farms, according to media reports.

“The FF Plus has for a very long time been insisting that rural crime should be declared a priority crime. Until this happens, there will be uncertainty and guess work will continue and the government should take the blame for this.

“Nobody can deny that our agricultural community is heavily affected by crime. The FF Plus will not keep quiet about it,” Dr. Groenewald said.

“Dr. Groenewald says various organisations keep their own records about farm murders, but it is mainly obtained through media reports.

He said that it is an inaccurate way of collecting statistics as the media does not report on each and every crime incident in South Africa and their information from the Police does not always indicate that an incident had taken place on a farm.

The SA Institute for Race Relations has by way of Dr. Frans Cronjé said that for each farm attack which is reported in the media, up to seven other farm attacks take place and that white farmers are thirteen times more exposed to attacks than city or small-holding dwellers are.

“We in the FF Plus are concerned about all crime but especially about rural crime and irresponsible comments about land reform which accompany this issue.

“We cannot put too much emphasis on the need for pressure from all quarters that should be placed on government to view the situation as the highest priority and act accordingly,” Dr. Groenewald said.


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