South African farmers and farm workers experienced the most brutal year in 2015 with the most recorded farm attacks since the recording of farm attacks started in 1990.
Civil rights movement AfriForum and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU SA) say the past year’s figures were processed and verified to provide the most accurate reflection of the nature and extent of farm attacks in South Africa.
A total of 318 farm attacks occurred in 2015, in which 64 farmers and workers lost their lives. Although 64 murders were also committed in 2010, there has been a gradual increase in farm murders since 2011, in which 48 murders were committed.
In the 318 farm attacks in 2015, 570 farmers, their families, workers and guests fell victim. In 40 cases 65 farm workers were direct victims. Although various families with small children and babies were attacked, it seems that older people are targeted more often.
This analysis was compiled by the AfriForum Research Institute under the direction of Lorraine Claasen, researcher at AfriForum. Data was collected during 2015 by AfriForum as well as TAU SA and was verified extensively.
According to Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, the statement by the acting Police Commissioner, Lt-Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, that farm murders should enjoy higher priority, is being welcomed. His organisation will gladly cooperate with the police in this regard.
“The acknowledgement that something must be done to address the crisis does not mean that the problem has been solved, however. It eventually boils down to the figures at ground level – whether there will be a decrease in farm attacks in 2016. We can play a constructive role in this regard. In the meantime, we will continue our campaign to prioritise farm murders.”
Claasen encouraged the public to bring any information about farm attacks to AfriForum’s attention by sending an email to [email protected]