Woman felt family was being 'hunted like wild animals' during farm attack

04 June 2019 - 12:13 By ERNEST MABUZA
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets says there is no single motive for farm attacks.
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets says there is no single motive for farm attacks.
Image: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Deaan Vivier

A woman who was raped and shot on her farm during an attack described the experience as feeling as though her family was being hunted like wild animals.

The woman, who cannot be named because of a court order, was present at an AfriForum briefing on farm attacks in Centurion, near Pretoria, on Tuesday. The civic group revealed that there were 184 attacks and 20 murders at farms between January 1 and May 31 this year.

The woman said her great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all farmers and she had married a farmer.

"Our lives changed in an instant on March 23 2018 when shots were fired over my son's head while he was watching TV.  These shots missed his head by several millimetres. I was also shot.

"I can describe this feeling as being hunted like wild animals," the woman said of the four-hour ordeal.

She said she told her children aged 15, 13 and nine to keep quiet.

Their attacker tied all of them with fencing wire so tightly that she lost blood circulation.

"He shouted (to our children) he was there to kill their father, that he would chop him up in front of them. He repeatedly threatened to shoot my son's feet off."

The woman said her attacker told her children he was going to rape her, and then did.

"He forced me to my bedroom and raped me there. There was blood everywhere, as I had been shot."

She also said the man brought her 13-year-old daughter to the room and tried to rape her.

The woman begged him not to.

"He forced my beautiful daughter to watch as he raped me."

The woman gave the man her bank card's PIN.

"When he returned from the bank, I pleaded with him to let me go. Finally at 12.04pm he agreed. My brave and petrified children had managed to call the neighbour for help."

The woman said she and her children would never be able to live on the farm again. They were now living in the city. Her husband works the farm and visits them in the city.

"The saddest part about this is that I will never be able to give my children back their innocence."

The children told her that they were grateful their father was not there at the time of the attack, as they feared he would have been killed.

She said this reality hit her when she had a meeting with 11 women who were attacked on the farms.

"Only two of us had husbands alive," she said.

The attacker was arrested last year and he has been on trial in the past few days.

Ian Cameron, AfriForum's head of community safety, said while there had been claims that these attacks were based on socio-economic factors, the statistics prove otherwise.

"Of the 184 attacks, cash was stolen only in 61 attacks." 

Cameron said the woman had offered her attackers her jewellery but the man kept on asking for bullets for a handgun.

Of the 184 attacks, he said, firearms were used in 115 attacks.

Ernst Roets, deputy CEO of AfriForum, said there was no single motive for these attacks.