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Fewer farm attacks, but more murders on SA's farms in 2020

18 February 2021 - 06:44 By shonisani tshikalange
Afriforum released its latest report on farm attacks and murders on Wednesday. The report revealed that farm murders increased in 2020
Afriforum released its latest report on farm attacks and murders on Wednesday. The report revealed that farm murders increased in 2020
Image: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp

In July 2020, Zakiyya Ahmedjan Ismail was brutally murdered during a home invasion on her farm in Weenen, KwaZulu-Natal.

Her throat was slit in front of her two young children. She was pregnant at the time.

She was one of 63 people murdered on SA’s farms in 2020, according to AfriForum, which on Wednesday released its farm attack and farm murder statistics for 2020.

The group said the past year saw an increase in farm murders, but farm attacks had decreased.

“AfriForum’s research reports 63 farm murders in 2020, as opposed to 45 farm murders in 2019,” said Andrea Muller, a researcher at AfriForum.

The report revealed that 382 farm attacks occurred in 2020, compared to 511 in 2019.

KwaZulu-Natal reported the highest number of farm murders in 2020, with 15 murders. Gauteng was next with 14 farm murders.

The report revealed that weapons used in attacks varied from firearms to knives to blunt objects.

“Cellphones, vehicles and firearms were the most popular items stolen during attacks,” revealed the report.

The civil rights organisation also announced its strategy to curb farm attacks and launched the Safeguard a Farm campaign in co-operation with the Southern African Agri Initiative.

Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s legal and risk manager, said the group would continue to drive projects, actions and campaigns to improve the safety of their farmers and support them where possible.

“Although farmers are increasingly more vigilant, it is AfriForum’s aim to make them and their families more defensible against farm attacks,” said Kamfer.

Kamfer said the training includes, safety assessment of farmsteads, training in basic first aid, weapons training and supplying analogue radio systems and radio training.

Muller said the government cannot continue to ignore the impact of farm attacks and murders.

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