Farm murders: Almost one murder a week - AfriForum

Report says there were 49 murders and 296 attacks in 2023/24

Farm murders: Almost one murder a week yet government looks the other way

20 May 2024

Almost one murder took place per week on South African farms during 2023 in 296 farm attacks that took place during this time. This while the South African government looks the other way and decided on the eve of the national election not to release the latest crime statistics. The South African Police Service’s (SAPS) crime statistics for the fourth quarter of 2023/2024 should have been released last week, but it appears that the ANC government is not willing to face the facts that emerge from the statistics so soon before the election.

AfriForum’s latest annual report on farm attacks and murders, which was released today in Centurion, shows that 49 farm murders (0,94 murders per week) took place during 2023 in 296 attacks (or 5,7 farm attacks per week).

The civil rights organisation has criticised the double standards in the SAPS’s approach to the prevention of and investigations into certain crimes and argues that no murder should be considered less important. However, when murders have unique elements, as is the case with farm attacks and murders, a specialised approach should be followed.

According to Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s Chief Spokesperson for Community Safety, crime and violent crime in particular has become a pandemic in South Africa that has seemingly gotten out of control. Meanwhile, the South African government and the top leadership of the SAPS have done little of significance to combat this scourge. “No murder is more important than another, and likewise no murder is less important than another. However, when it comes to farm murders, this is exactly how the South African government sees it,” emphasises Broodryk.

The allocation of resources to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for investigations into certain serious and organised crimes, as well as a specific approach by the SAPS and other role players in combating certain types of crimes – referred to in the industry as priority crimes – is followed. Cash-in-transit robberies, illegal mining and politically motivated murders are some of the crimes for which special ministerial task teams have been set up for prevention and investigation purposes.

“A specialised approach to unique crimes is to be welcomed,” explains Broodryk. “However, there are questions as to why the South African government refuses to follow the same approach with farm attacks and murders. In certain cases, the occurrence of farm attacks and murders is much higher, more violent and requires a much more specialised approach than some of the crimes that were prioritised.”

Broodryk’s statement becomes clear in the following murder statistics:

- Number of political assassinations in 2022: 40

- Number of murders related to illegal mining activities in 2023: 41

- Number of farm murders in 2023 (according to AfriForum database): 49

Despite the above statistics, during a visit to New York in 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa still denied the existence of farm murders.

Regarding attacks or incidents, the following statistics can also be compared:

- Number of cash-in-transit robberies in 2023: 234

- Number of farm attacks in 2023 (according to AfriForum database): 296

The occurrence of 234 cash-in-transit robberies in 2023 resulted in a specialised action by authorities. In contrast, the 296 farm attacks in the same year are seemingly ignored.

“The value that the ANC government places on human lives is clearly not equal. These double standards are shocking,” says Broodryk.

In the meantime, AfriForum will actively continue the fight for the safety of the community through its more than 170 security structures and more than 10 000 trained volunteers nationwide. These structures succeed time and time again in warding off farm attacks and apprehending criminals who are guilty of these crimes. AfriForum will continue to further expand its security network, offer training and equip community members with the necessary skills to act within the framework of the law and curb crime.

“While the South African government continues to turn a blind eye to the reality of farm attacks, and politicians like Julius Malema and his supporters continue to openly chant ‘Kill the Boer, kill the farmer’, AfriForum does not ask for special treatment of farm murders and attacks – we simply ask for equal treatment,” concludes Broodryk.

AfriForum_Plaasaanval-en-plaasmoordverslag-2023_Mei-2024 - PDF

Issued by Jacques Broodryk, Chief Spokesperson: Community Safety, AfriForum, 20 May 2024