South African Farm Murders on the Rise
Violence against white South African farmers has been ongoing since the end of apartheid in the nation and was originally documented by the South African Agricultural Union, with over 3,000 attacks on farms and 677 farm murders reported between 1991-1997. This aggression towards farmers in the post-apartheid state continued and peaked in 2001 with the Crime Intelligence Division of the South African Police Service recording over 1,000 attacks and 147 murders on farms within the single year, with the organisation admitting that the figures were limited due to some crimes not being recorded by the department. Data amassed by several official bodies show a steady increase in attacks and murders on farmers over the past few years, with 2017 being the bloodiest yet since 2011.
A motion put forward by the radical EFF party and backed by the leading ANC was passed in Cape Town in February where parliament voted 3 to 1 in favour of amending the constitution to allow land expropriation from white farmers without compensation. This came only two weeks after the new South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was sworn in and replaced controversial figure Jacob Zuma.
The leader of South Africa’s third largest political party, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, garnered his own controversy as recently as 2016 when he was filmed at a large public gathering singing the apartheid-era song ‘Kill the Boer’ in which the lyric line “Shoot the Boer” is repeated 20 times. Boer, meaning “farmer” in Afrikaans and Dutch. He is filmed making gun gestures with his hand as he sings the song, with hundreds of supporters in the crowd mimicking his actions. This is not an isolated incident, with crowds and protesters commonly chanting the lines and inciting violence against white farmers in the country.
Leading African National Congress party (ANC) claim attacks on farmers are, for the most part, robbery related, with instances of murder being an unfortunate side-effect. This stance by ANC however is up for debate when such attacks are taking an increasingly grotesque turn, with rape and even torture being inflicted on these residents.
Eileen de Jager, a crime scene cleanup worker who works closely with South African police spoke out in a recent interview about the atrocities she has witnessed first hand, stating it is not uncommon to find murdered victims who were tortured prior to death. Mrs Jager goes into some detail and speaks of fingernails being removed, along with hands and limbs removed from the body and even eyes being gouged out, all whilst the victim is conscious. South African police typically brush off such brutality as robberies gone wrong, with official statistics labelling these attacks as such, causing official police statistics to be somewhat unreliable in identifying crime types.
Aggression against white farmers is not limited to the adults, with even the young sons and daughters of farmers being targeted in their family home. Mrs Jager recalls one incident in which she attended the cleanup of which a young child had been drowned in boiling water by the assailants.
These kinds of stories are echoed by the daughter of a man who was murdered on his property, as interviewed by independent journalist Lauren Southern. The daughter, Janine, has taken over her father’s farm after he was executed in his own living room. She tells of how there was a knock on the door during the afternoon which her father answered, only for the attacker to shoot him in the stomach. The elderly farmer then crawled to his landline telephone and called his neighbour for help, with the neighbour hearing for themselves shot after shot in the background.
Janine describes her dad as “the nicest man you could ever hope to meet”. Post-mortem later identified her father to have taken a total of 6 bullets in different parts of his body, with the killing blow being an execution style bullet to the back of the head in his own living room. 20,000 South African Rand, (£1175, $1659) was recorded stolen, while police found 8 bullet cartridges at the scene, indicating this was yet another calculated slaughter, though the South African Police Service run it up as a “robbery gone wrong” despite evidence indicating to the contrary.
It is no wonder such targeted violence is on the increase when there are mainstream groups calling for it across the nation. “Black First Land First” or BLF for short, is one such group. BLF commonly tout the slogan ‘Land or Death’, with a spokeswoman for the group recently going on record with the viewpoint of her organisation.
The BLF spokeswoman states ‘a society that would embody a value system that puts black people first will have to be attained through confrontation’
She continues and claims that war against the white farmers is ‘inevitable’ and ‘definitely coming’.
A rally was recently held in Perth Australia, with over 2,000 protesters attending calling for persecuted South African farmers to be allowed to enter Australia under special refugee status due to ongoing ‘black apartheid’ being imposed by the leading party ANC under Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president.
Australian independent senator Fraser Anning supports fast tracking refugee status visas for the farmers, and has labelled violence towards them as a ‘genocide’. Australian SBS news quoted Anning ‘These people are being persecuted. It’s now verging on a genocide.’
‘When you have a state-sponsored people with the state complicit in this, slaughtering whites simply because they’re white, that’s genocide.’
A member of parliament under the African National Congress who has been an MP since 1994, Lindiwe Sisulu, denies any group of people are being persecuted in South Africa, in a response directed towards recent protests in Australia.
‘We must emphasise, as we have stated before, that no one is being persecuted in South Africa, including white farmers.’
Sisulu states this despite the recent motion passing in parliament in February which explicitly addresses the removal of land specifically from white farmers without compensation.
South Africa has the 5th highest murder rate as a country in the world, with 34 people per 100,000 murdered in 2017 annually totalling over 19,000 homicides.
A recent debate in the Cape Town parliament saw a minority party ACDP member Steve Swart claim ‘whilst we have an unacceptably high murder rate in this nation of 34 people per 100,000, for farmers, the figure is 97 per 100,000. Almost three times the average.’
Pieter Groenewald of the FFP party contested Swart’s figure and claimed ‘the farm murder rate is 133 per 100,000.’
With these kinds of figures if you are a farmer in South Africa you are 3-4 times more likely to be murdered than someone who is not a so called boer. This makes farming in South Africa the most dangerous occupation in the country, with no farmer under any illusion of the threat they face on a daily basis. Reports of crucifixion of farmers and their children by groups of assailants have also been recorded.
Mainstream media are currently refusing to shine light on the dangers faced by white farmers, necessary aid and intervention has not been forthcoming in the slightest to this persecuted group of people. Both the BBC and ABC Australia go as far as to refuse the statistics are correct, despite three entirely separate organisations, one of which being official police records, showing the same trend in discriminatory attacks.
All major political parties in South Africa have pledged to redistribute white farm land back to the black populace starting this year, and have all stated unequivocally that compensation will not be given. Many current white farmers in the nation are the 8-9th generation to have farmed the land, meaning it has been within their families possession for hundreds of years. Prior to the land belonging to the majority of white farmers, the land was unowned and unworked.
An ANC spokesman has also recently said the law may change further if white farmers refuse to leave their properties willingly, hinting at possible government sanctioned violent expropriation of white owned land.
Police are no longer relied on in this once apartheid state, with many civilians turning to private security companies to protect themselves and their property. Private security officers total over three times that of South Africa’s police force and military combined with nearly half a million individuals working in private protection services.
Plans to begin land expropriation are due to commence this summer, and with no attempt made by the leading government to de-escalate violence or even acknowledge the persecution underway, it is likely the situation unravelling in South Africa will continue to spiral into further brutality in the months and years to follow.
Transvaal Agricultural Union
South African Crime Information Analysis Centre