Huge increase in farm murders in 2016/17 - Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says year-on-year farm attacks increased from 519 to 638, farm murders from 58 to 74

 Farm attacks and murders increased drastically

According to the police’s crime statistics, the figures for farm attacks and murders increased drastically for the 2016/2017 year under report. Farm murders increased with 27,5% and farm attacks with 22,9%. In the year under report, there were 74 farm murders (58 in 2015/2016) and 638 farm attacks 519 in 2015/2016).

After the police initially refused to disclose their crime statistics on farm attacks and murders, the full report was made available to Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, after he had insisted on it.

According to the statistics of the police, there were no less than 1700 farm murders and 12 245 farm attacks from 1996/1997–2016/2017. The figures for farm attacks have increased for three consecutive years now and since 2014/2015, there has been an increase of 28,3%.

“Why the police would not want to disclose the report is unfathomable and it creates the impression that they wanted to conceal the drastic increase in farm attacks and murders. Farm murders are of importance because agriculture is the strategic industry that ensures food security. 

“The general figure for murder in South Africa is currently 34 per 100 000 of the population, but for farmers it is approximately 130 per 100 000. Hence the emphasis on farm murders.

“As a province, the Western Cape is vulnerable because 15 of the 34 police stations, where the police’s rural safety strategy has not been implemented at all, are located in the province.

“The recent increase in farm murders in the Western Cape can be ascribed to this because the abovementioned situation makes it very easy for criminals to commit these murders. For this reason, the FF Plus calls on the farmers in the Western Cape to increase their security measures,” says Dr Groenewald.

Statement issued by Dr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader and chief spokesperson: Police, 25 October 2017