Crime Stats reveal 62 farm murders

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Residence occupiers, workers and a manager were part of 62 people killed on South African farms during the 2017/18 financial year, annual crime statistics have revealed.

In a report released in Parliament on Tuesday, the South African Police Services (SAPS) says the violent act was aimed at people on farms and small holdings residing, working or visiting farms and smallholdings.  

Of the murdered, 52 were occupiers of the premises while nine were farm workers and one was a farm manager.

A majority of the murders were in Gauteng (12) while the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape all recorded three murders each. There were nine murders in the North West and Limpopo, while eight and seven were recorded in Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, respectively.  

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole said police were categorizing farm crimes as SAPS reviewed the rural safety strategy in order to respond to modus operandi.

“Over and above that, the strategy is also responding to stock theft seeing that this crime was increasing. The Cabinet Lekgotla has declared what we call rural economy and we are there to protect that economy. Within the community mobilisation, we will be engaging with agricultural unions and rural communities so that we are able to provide a collective response to this scourge of crime,” he said.

Other crimes committed on farms included housebreakings (33) and attempted murder (6). Two cases each of rape and stock theft were reported while single cases of robbery with a firearm, carjacking and a kidnapping was investigated.

The report excludes all acts of violence “against infrastructure and property in the rural community aimed at disrupting legal farming activities as a commercial concern, whether the motive/s are related to ideology, land disputes, land issues, revenge, grievances, racist concerns or intimidation”.

Cases of domestic violence or liquor abuse, or resulting from commonplace social interaction between people are also not included. -