South Africa | Alarming increase in farm attacks from 2010 to 2016!

South Africa | Alarming increase in farm attacks from 2010 to 2016!
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The civil rights organization AfriForum and the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa (TAU SA) on December 7, 2016, announced a disturbing rise in farm attacks and farm murders in South Africa for 2016 with the announcement of the official figures during a media conference in Centurion.


This rising trend has been observed for the sixth consecutive year. The 2016 figure of 64 murders has only been calculated up to 30 November 2016. According to Gen. Chris van Zyl, Assistant General Manager of TAU SA, December 2016 is already indicating a further increase with an estimated ratio of nearly one murder per day up to the present for the month, which makes the total farm murder figure for 2016 the highest for the past seven years.


Several factors and trends were identified during the analysis of the verified data for 2016.


The most dangerous day of the week


During the 2016-year and 2015 year, Sunday appeared to be the most dangerous day for farm attacks. Followed by Saturday, Wednesday, and Friday.


Time of day


Farm and smallholdings are typically attacked between 20:00 and 03:00 and one of reason attackers prefer to attack at night is because it is easier to flee from a crime scene and avoid being arrested.


Average number of attackers per attack


There have been incidents when up to 10 suspects strike a farm or smallholding. There are a few cases when only one attacker might strike. It appears that where there are more attackers per incident it indicates that an organized group is behind the attacks.


Number of victims and their average age


More than 400 individual victims were identified in the analysis of the 334 verified attacks. Usually the owner, family, friends, relatives, and workers are victims during an attack. The average age of a victim was calculated at 56 years based on the available information.


Torturing of victims


There is a slight decrease in torture during attacks this year; however, the torture incidents were exceptionally cruel. Based on data available, victims were burnt with boiling water and irons. Physical force used against farmers and family members included hitting them repeatedly with a pick or by cutting their throats open with knives.


In 18% of the analyzed attacks, the victim was wounded during the attack with a firearm.


In the majority of cases, 78%, the victims were assaulted and/or seriously injured with multiple weapons.


In 6% of the incidents, the victim in self-defense shot an attacker during the attack.


Weapons used during attacks


Firearms are included in farm attacks and are mainly pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Other weapons used during attacks are machetes, machetes, knives, axes, pipes, clubs, blunt objects, and a spear. The attackers usually used ropes, electric cables, and cable ties to tie up victims.




Compiled by Lorraine Claasen | AfriForum Research Institute


Original article by: SouthAfricaToday


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