The annual crime statistic released on Friday show that another 49 farmers were slaughtered last year – four every month – while reliable reports tell us that another 26 farmers and farm workers have been murdered in the first half of this year during some 141 attacks.
Farmers, farm workers, their families and their visitors, of all races, are at enormous threat. In the last 10 years 612 of them have been murdered, and there have been 2818 attacks on farms – leaving many maimed, crippled or blinded.
The farmers of South Africa have been patient. But they have also been lied to over and over again.
While the South African Police Service (SAPS) have created plan after plan, farmers – black and white – , farm workers – black and white – , their wives, children and parents are today twice as likely to be murdered than a police officer is and four times more likely to be murdered than the average South African.
It seems to only be in the most isolated of our rural areas, where attackers have the time to hone their craft, to boil their oil and heat the irons and to sharpen their machetes.
Anyone who gives these brutal attacks any thought at all realises that the main difference between killing someone in town, or someone on a farm is the isolation.
The attackers have far more time, taking hours or even days, to torture the farm owners or workers, sometimes in the belief that there is a safe, or second safe filled with firearms and jewels.
Other times they kill the family and then take nothing at all, like they did last month in the Northern Cape. The Brand family died for nothing at all.
Of course, the Criminal Justice System’s focus today is on the high-profile corruption cases – chasing the increasingly elusive Covid-19 millions, or the VBS looters. To date there has been little time, personnel, equipment or political will to focus on the slaughter of the people who grow our food. The farming community has to date been patently irrelevant to the ANC-government.
As this ridiculous, country-killing lockdown continues, so the attacks and the levels of violence have escalated dramatically.
Complex rural safety mechanisms had been established, but we’re all shut down by Bheki Cele at the advent of Covid-19.
Volunteer farmers with a zero budget work all day, and patrol all night and report back to the police from areas the police don’t have the manpower or vehicles to patrol.
But the Minister of Police saw fit to shut them down, so the murders and rapes increased, and the looting of entire crops escalated. Because he didn’t look further ahead than his own nose.
Indeed, while the ANC had their noses in the looting trough, behind them the people who feed our nation were living in terror. They are under siege.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is pleased that our 16-point programme is bearing fruit, that the SAPS are stepping up to do the job they are expected to do for all South Africans, and that slowly but surely, ANC members are at last beginning to understand that no South African deserves to die by torture.
But it is now time for our President to also acknowledge the perpetual fear and danger that our rural communities live and work in. I therefore again call on all South Africans to visit the DA’s websites at stopplaasaanvalle.co.za or stopfarmattacks.co.za and co-sign our open letter to President Ramaphosa, calling on him to address their plight.
Click here to contribute to the DA’s legal action challenging irrational and dangerous elements of the hard lockdown in court