AfriForum welcomes inclusion of farm murders in SAPS crime statistics; calls for more detail

The civil rights organisation AfriForum welcomed the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) inclusion of farm murders in its 2018/2019 crime statistics under the header of “Violence at farms and smallholdings”. At the same time, the organisation appeals to SAPS to provide a more detailed section on farm attacks, as well as farm murders in its future statistics to acknowledge and reflect their true impact on rural communities.

“Although we understand that the statistical report is generally bad news for South Africa and its citizens, we feel that only one slide that shows 47 farm murders and 36 other incidences related to farm violence does not reflect the true extent and impact of the 418 farm attacks and 48 farm murders that AfriForum recorded during the same period,” says Guido Urlings, Information Manager for Community Safety at AfriForum.

While the number of farm attacks is still shockingly high, AfriForum gratefully acknowledges that farm murders – either at 47 or 48 for the past financial year – have reached an all-time low since 1994.

“We believe that many farmers and rural communities have now reached a level of preparedness and organisation that enables them to effectively fight or even deter would-be attackers. We see more and more reports of farmers, farmworkers and others who successfully defend themselves from ruthless attackers, or who quickly apprehend suspects afterwards. We therefore encourage all other farmers, their families and workers, as well as the rural communities in general to form farm or neighbourhood watches to further decrease the number of attacks and – especially – murders,” says Marnus Kamfer, Legal and Risk Manager at AfriForum.

Farmers and other people who are interested in forming farm or neighbourhood watches in their area are welcome to contact AfriForum Community Safety at veiligheid@afriforum.co.za.

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