This is the message coming from civil rights organisation AfriForum who warns these areas have been ravaged by seven farm attacks since the end of March. A shortage of police resources serves as an escalation to these dangers.
Three attackers had firearms
In the most recent incident, on 1 August approximately 20:30, 24 farm workers were robbed of their wages, food and cell phones by nine attackers. During this attack, three attackers had firearms and the other six were armed with a variety of knifes, among others a panga. Nobody was injured in the attack.
“A shortage of police resources is making the Addo area especially vulnerable. We are making a plea to the community to organise themselves to be prepared and ready,” says Johandré van Zyl, AfriForum’s Head of Safety for the Southern Region.
Attacks in the Addo and Kirkwood areas are usually committed by groups consisting of two to four suspects, with the exception of the most recent one. There isn’t a clear trend regarding the time of day that the attacks occur. In most cases cash is stolen.
“Attacks on farm workers are, just as on farmers, an attack on food security in our country. For this reason trusted farm workers must also be involved in safety initiatives and training,” says Van Zyl.