No slaughter, but farm murders are ‘disproportionately high’

Photo: File Image

Photo: File Image

The police recorded 62 farm murders during 58 attacks in 2017/18, but murders in the community were between 22 000 and 30 000.

An ongoing narrative this year is that farms and farmers are under sustained attack and the noise surrounding the issue has created the impression that they are being slaughtered by the dozen.

Fact-checking organisation Africa Check noted that there was no “farm murder” or “farm attack” crime category in South Africa.

“Rather, the police keep track of crimes which meet a definition included in the 2011 Rural Safety Strategy,” Africa Check noted.

“In 2017/18, the police recorded 62 murders during 58 attacks. Of those murdered, 52 were the owners or occupiers of the farm/smallholding, nine were farm workers and one was a farm manager.

“Forty-two murders took place on farms, 15 on smallholdings and one at a cattle post.”

The crime statistics also revealed that an average of 57 people were killed every day in the country for the 2017-08 period.

According to AfriForum’s head of safety Ian Cameron it was an important comparison to make.

“If, for example, all the engineers in SA responsible for providing petrol for the country were attacked at a disproportionate rate, obviously we’re going to have a problem with fuel production.

“We’re saying farmers are a very specific group in the country.

“Look at the number of murders in a community of between 22 000 and 30 000, then it creates some context.”

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