South Africa 20.3.2017 03:55 pm

WATCH: ‘Expert’ offers tips on how to combat farm attacks

Johan van der Merwe. Picture: Facebook video

Johan van der Merwe. Picture: Facebook video

This man believes it’s up to farmers themselves to ensure they don’t become another ‘bloody smear on a wall’.

The Facebook page SA Rural Security on Sunday posted a video by Johan van der Merwe in which he speaks passionately about the need for people to become independently secure on their farms and capable of managing their own defence.

In the video, which has already been widely shared and commented on, Van Der Merwe advises people living on farms not to rely on anyone else for their safety, more especially not the police.

Speaking in Afrikaans, he says that he is aware that people will be “die moer in” (upset) with him, but “it’s important that we’re honest with each other when it comes to these things”.

He references last week’s debate about farm murders in parliament and the ongoing attacks. He says he has realised that farm murders “will not be stopped in South Africa. The state has no appetite for it … the police don’t have the capacity … it doesn’t matter how much money goes to the police, it won’t help.”

He says that debates will not help, and “we know we are living in a country where farmers’ throats are cut … we need to take responsibility for our own situation”.

“We need to be independent and prepared.”

He says praying won’t help either, because people need to accept responsibility for their own safety.

Van Der Merwe says this doesn’t mean dressing up in camouflage, “walking around with a double-barrel shotgun, 15 Rottweilers and R5 million worth of camera equipment”.

“It starts with simple awareness of your environment.”

He says if you came home and find your dog dead, “don’t be stupid, don’t be Rambo, go and find help”.

“If you’re at home and you hear something outside, don’t go out. We know they want to get us out of our houses.

“Make your house your fort.”

He advises that farmers should choose a room in their house where women and children can be locked up securely.

“Try to put as much time as possible between you and him. The first way is to know earlier that he is there. If you can take away his element of surprise through cameras, dogs, people who are driving and see strange people in the road and then take photos and share it with each other … then you begin to have something to look for. In other words, you steal time for yourself.

“If you know about him before he knows that you know, you can get your people to safety.”

He advises creating obstacles between the farmer and the attacker, such as a fence around the farm and the house, burglar bars and locked doors.

“One of the best things you can put between yourself and him is a 9mm pistol,” he adds.

Van der Merwe advises that if you are going to go the firearm route, then you need to ensure that you and your family know how to use it properly.

“Be prepared! Put a bottle of Doom behind every door. Put a crowbar or a knife under the bench. Don’t be caught unawares. Anything can be a weapon if you have a plan.

“Look around your property and check if there are any areas you can secure more.

“The point is that when you are wriggling around in your own blood and watching them rape your wife in front of you, don’t suddenly then think you should maybe have been more prepared.”

He says farmers are too worried about upsetting each other and saying “negative” things.

“The more of us who are prepared, the fewer of us are going to die. Let’s just make it a little harder for the criminal to get to us.

“It has nothing to do with your faith, colour, race. If every citizen is prepared, the criminals will struggle.

“Keep it within the law. Use your common sense and be prepared.”

He says he wishes he could start a group to teach people more proactive self-defence principles and thus create a bigger and more concerted “front of resistance”, or else the statistics around farm murders will never change.

“Stay alive long enough so that help can get to you … It’s not a donderse joke. It’s not negative news. It’s a reality.

“I don’t care about your feelings, I care about your life.”


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