Addo and Kirkwood areas vulnerable to farm attacks

The civil rights organisation AfriForum is making a plea to the Addo and Kirkwood communities to sharpen their safety and readiness.

These areas have been ravaged by seven farm attacks since the end of March. In the most recent incident, on 1 August approximately 20:30, 24 farm workers were robbed of their wages, food and cell phones by nine attackers. During this attack, three attackers had firearms and the other six were armed with a variety of knifes, among others a panga. Nobody was injured in the attack.

“A shortage of police resources is making the Addo area especially vulnerable. We are making a plea to the community to organise themselves to be prepared and ready,” says Johandré van Zyl, AfriForum’s Head of Safety for the Southern Region.

Attacks in the Addo and Kirkwood areas are usually committed by groups consisting of two to four suspects, with the exception of the most recent one. There isn’t a clear trend regarding the time of day that the attacks occur. In most cases cash is stolen.

“Attacks on farm workers are, just as on farmers, an attack on food security in our country. For this reason trusted farm workers must also be involved in safety initiatives and training,” says Van Zyl.

AfriForum could already confirm 16 attacks in the Eastern Cape for 2019, compared to the 22 attacks in this province during the same timeframe in 2018.

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