9 farm attacks, 3 farm murders in two weeks

Henry

AfriForum announced on Thursday that a total of nine farm attacks and two farm murders were reported in the country between 22 and 30 July.

However, RNews has meanwhile reported on a third farm murder, where the body of Dr. Carel Nel was found on his farm in the Biesiesvlei area in the North West on Wednesday.

The attacks were mainly reported in the Free State, Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga.

Four suspects also appeared in the Balfour Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for the murder of 71-year-old Theo Bekker and the attack on his wife, Marlinda, on their farm in the Groenvlei area.

The suspects are teenagers between 16 and 19 years old.

A large group of farmers and community members gathered outside the court with placards reading “Stop Farm Killings” and “Farmers’ Lives Matter”, to express their displeasure about farm attacks and killings.

Along with the attacks, EFF leader Julius Malema also caused a stir with the singing of the controversial “Kill the Boer” song during the party’s ten-year anniversary celebrations.

Concerns about increase in farm attacks

The DA calls for an investigation to be launched to investigate the possible connection between the EFF’s incitement to violence and the upsurge in brutal farm attacks and murders.

“This investigation must leave no stone unturned, and its findings should contain comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of our farmers and farm workers,” says Noko Masipa, the DA’s shadow minister for agriculture.

The party also expressed its sadness over the increase in farm murders that have been clearly seen in the past two weeks and says the dangerous rhetoric and violence directed at a specific group of society is worrying.

“We must act quickly to deal with this serious situation.”

According to Masipa, the ANC’s failure to deal with Malema’s controversial statements and the sharp rise in the number of farm attacks is a clear indication that their leadership cannot be relied upon to protect their citizens. Thoko Didiza, the minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, has not said a word about the attacks either, says Masipa.

“It is time for all political parties to put aside their differences and stand together to protect the lives and dignity of all South Africans.

“Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa must unequivocally condemn these acts and show real leadership to deal with this crisis. The safety and security of our citizens, regardless of their background, must be at the forefront of our national agenda.”

Masipa says the DA has consistently advocated for the implementation of proper rural security units and reservists, recognizing the unique challenges facing the rural communities. The uncertainty they endure on a daily basis calls for urgent action and support from the government.

“Given the poor response of the police minister regarding policing in rural areas, a commission of inquiry becomes even more critical. It is time to unite all segments of society to collectively tackle this pressing issue.

“In light of the disturbing historical examples from which we must learn, the DA strongly condemns these senseless murders. Our hearts go out to the families affected, and we pledge to fight against dangerous political rhetoric that puts lives at risk.”

RNews earlier reported on Mike Pattinson (67), a farmer from Sterkfontein near Harrismith, who was reported missing on Monday, after which his body was found hours later in a house in Tseseng. Five men have already appeared in court for his murder.

Two farm attacks were reported in central KwaZulu-Natal on the weekend of 22 to 23 July.