Police in North West have launched an investigation after a Buffelspoort farmer’s bakkie was set alight and vandalised with the spray-painted slogan “Kill the Boer”.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Amanda Funani on Monday said they were investigating malicious damage to property.
“The 38-year-old victim heard his dog barking and went to investigate. He saw his vehicle burning. He alerted the police. No arrests have been made.”
In November, an elderly couple were hacked with pangas and their middle-aged son was shot in the leg during a farm attack near Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, in the early hours of the morning.
Four men managed to enter the house through a window while the elderly couple and their son were asleep. Once the suspects were inside, they accosted the elderly couple, demanding money and attacked them with pangas.
Their son woke up during the commotion and intervened, armed with his firearm. During an exchange of fire, their son was shot in the leg, but he managed to shoot one of the suspects.
In its second year of reporting farm-related crimes separately in the crime stats, the SA Police Service’s data suggested there were fewer such crimes this year.
Aside from last year, the previous time the SAPS reported separately on farm crimes was in 2007.
Last year, the head of police crime research and statistics Norman Sekhukhune said that crimes now categorised as farm murders came to 62 in total during 58 attacks, with 12 in Gauteng, nine each in Limpopo and North West, eight each in Mpumalanga and the Free State, seven in KwaZulu-Natal, and three each in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape.
This year, over the comparable period, there were 47 murders on farms and smallholdings, in a total of 41 such incidents.
This represents about 0.22% of all the murders committed in South Africa over one year.
The stats do not explore whether the motives for these murders or acts of violence are political or otherwise, merely that they took place on farms or smallholdings.
KwaZulu-Natal now topped the list for the most incidents, at 11, with Gauteng seeing 10, the Free State seven, North West and Western Cape six each, with three in the Eastern Cape and two each in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. No such crimes were reported at all in the Northern Cape.
The issue of murders on farms remains highly politicised in South Africa.