Activist group AfriForum and the agricultural union TAU SA announced the statistics in a media release and also said what they are planning to do to prevent further attacks.
Some of the statistics released suggest 1747 farm murders and 3542 attacks took place between 1990 and midyear 2015. Out of the 1747 murder victims 1133 were farmers, 465 direct family members, 130 farm workers and 19 visitors.
Genl Chris van Zyl, Assistant Head Manager of TAU SA says Limpopo is now the province where most farm attacks and murders happen. Gauteng previously had the number one spot. Limpopo is followed by KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the Free State, Eastern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and the Western Cape.
Genl Van Zyl said farm attacks and murders are becoming increasingly brutal as well as fatal.
Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, says the fact that the government refuses to declare farm murders a priority crime is highly discriminating.
Roets gave four reasons why farm murders are unique and should be prioritised:
1. Frequency of attacks.
2. Brutality of attacks.
3. The role farmers play in South Africa.
4. Location of farms on which the attacks and murders take place.
Both organisations also emphasized the importance of international pressure on the South African government. Roets and Lorraine Claasen, Researcher and Criminologist at AfriForum, are heading to Perth in Australia tomorrow to address the World Society of Victimology Congress.
“We hope to gain international awareness regarding farm attacks. It is important for the world to take notice of how serious farm attacks are,” Claasen said.
“We can be part of the solution, but only if the government supports us. Till then we will have to continue to put international pressure on them. The SA government must be forced to take action,” said Henk van de Graaf, Assistant Head Manager of TAU SA.
TAU SA, who has been making use of international platforms to create awareness of farm murders since 2012, are planning various projects this year such as the implementation of farm guards, which includes strategy planning and training, as well as the expansion of tracking abilities.
Other actions by AfriForum includes the expansion of neighbourhood watches and community empowerment. Both organisations will continue to put pressure on the government to prioritise farm murders.