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According to statistics, as an ongoing threat to South Africa’s agricultural industry and the subsequent families therein—farm murders appear to be on the rise despite a national lockdown and increased policing.
According to Andrea Muller, a researcher at AfriForum, a total of 63 farm murders were reported in 2020 compared to 45 farm murders in 2019. However, there was a decline in farm attacks, with 382 confirmed farm attacks reported in 2020 being a significant decrease from the 511 farm attacks in 2019. But, according to Afriforum, there is logical reasoning for the decline.
The civil rights group points out, “The decrease can be attributed to the lockdown, which restricted people’s movements and resulted in more police patrols. However, the attacks were not less violent. Many attacks were extremely violent in nature, and victims were tortured and left traumatised.”
It is essential to note that; most farm attacks occurred in August 2020,
and when focussing on the individual provinces, KZN recorded 15 farm murders in 2020, compared to six cases recorded in 2019. Gauteng follows closely in second place with 14 murders during 2020, an increase from five farm murders in 2019. A total of 9 farm murders were reported in the Free State in 2020.
As a long-standing member of the farming community and an organiser of the #moveonemillion local community event, Karen Brown explains that the increased murders over the past year make the farming community feel vulnerable and targeted. “Personally, I feel this is a deliberate agenda being pushed by someone, so farmers can feel insecure enough to leave their lands and rather move into town before they are attacked.”
Moreover, she believes rising unemployment and poverty are also significant contributing factors, with the government doing very little to enhance job security for the jobless masses.
With farmers facing extreme challenges, what are your thoughts on the spike in murders?
Share your views with us in the comment section below.