Farmers work under siege in S.Africa

 

There are only some 11,000 commercial, ‘white’ food-producers left in South Africa, and 1-million black subsistence farmers. The white farmers have to work their fields under the most dangerous war-like conditions in the world: this tiny minority produces all the daily food-needs for 50-million people while under constant siege from large groups of vengeful, very violent, heavily-armed  black male youth-militias who often torture and sexually-mutilate their victims before killing them. Similar attacks against black subsistence-farmers are very unusual. 96% of all the attacked farmers and smallholders are Boers ( ‘whites’) and more than 92% of all the attackers are black males who were not previously known to the farmers. Below is a profile-study of a typical farm-attacker, published by Lichtenburg farmer Koos Geldenhuys in the agricultural magazine Landbouweekblad.

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Farm attacks are carried out with military precision and reconnaissance

Blacks in SA increasingly angry with their greedy elite - strikes hit SA again Landbouweekblad, March 11 2011 – Farm-attacks  are carried out with military precision, considerable advanced planning and reconnaissance by these large youth-militias. Their motives are a mix of revenge and robbery. The farm is under surveillance for at least three to seven days before they’ve learned its security details and decide to pounce.

Koos Geldenhuys wrote in Landbouweekblad that ‘often the attackers first arrive on a farm under the pretence that they want to buy agricultural products or -equipment. They thus obtain valuable information about the standard of safety on the  farm. “

Attacks invariably “as gruesome and brutal as possible…”

The attackers are aged from 15 to 35 years old, single males, unemployed. TheyLANDBOUWEEKBLAD MARCH112011 move around in armed groups of three to seven men but avoid being seen together as a group while on reconnaissance. “Such people have the perception that all the farmers own guns and that they are easy to steal because farmers live in remote region. The motives are revenge and/or robbery. Usually they demand firearms, money and a vehicle. The attacks are carried out with military precision – and they are invariably always as gruesome and brutal as possible. No farm-dweller is too old or too young, too poor or too rich to be subjected to this cruelty. A study which was carried out amongst farm-attackers in prison reveaed that being jailed also does not scare them although, they also said, prison was “too severe a punishment” for their offences.

Farm attacks are planned with military precision. The farm is watched for three to seven days. The attackers avoid being seen together as a group so only one or two members will carry out the reconnaisance.

Field-writing signs: important clues farmers must watch out for:

FIELD WRITING SIGNS TERREBLANCHE MURDER SCENE WINDOW SILL Picture  above: among the missed clues by the SAPS forensic team which first investigated Ventersdorp farmer Eugene Terre’Blanche murder scene were proof of detailed advance planning for this murder and field-writing sign-posting: a damaged window latch allowed easy access to the Terre’Blanche bedroom where he was recovering from open-heart surgery;  and it was further sign-posted by a red book cover with the words “Mountain Man Kill”. The forensic team also missed a shoeprint on the window ledge. Terre’Blanche’s death was gruesome: he was was hacked at so ferociously with hundreds of stabbing and cane-knife slashes that his limbs were severed and his body extensively mutilated . Also missed: two days earlier, one of his most trusted servants was murdered in her cottage just a few hundred metres from the scene under mysterious circumstances. http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2010/04/terreblanche-murder-scene-independent.html

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Gangs communicate with secret African field-writing language learned in traditional initiation-schools:

To communicate with each other, farm-attack gangs leave ‘unique field-writing marks’ in the landscape at specific sites. Farmers should keep an eye out for stacked rocks or a plastic bag near the farm-gates. A cracked tree branch over the gate, arrows signed on the ground pointing to the farm, and marks scratched out in tree-trunks all are signs. Be alert to anything out of place, anything usual: the attackers are ingenious in sign-posting. One method in which attackers gain information, is to pretend to look for work. So farmers – even if they need workers urgently – must first investigate the applicant’s background very thoroughly: always ask his name and prove it with his identity book. If he has no identity-number the farmer should never give him work. Find out where he worked before and contact his previous employer. If it sounds as if he is providing vague information, or it does not tally with the information the farmer gathered himself, the farmer should contact the police and immediately step up all his security measures.

“Winning in farm attacks – learn African Field Writing:”

(Expert retired SA police officer Lukas Swart ‘s book “Winning in farm-attacks’ (in Afrikaans), explains the secret language of these African field-signs which are often placed around SA homes by gangs to communicate to each other while watching your place.

  • Order the book in Afrikaans: Cost R220.00 + postage and handling R30.00 = R250.00 total Pay on Account name AKSKA MEDIA CC  (make sure you spell the account name correctly) Account Nr 406 851 4372 Bank branch code: 632005 Fax your proof of payment to 0866 474 540 and indicate the mailing address and cellphone number so that your tracking number can be emailed to you. Contact: Maritha Swart, AKSKA MEDIA fax: 0866 474 540 Cell: 082 7850 484 email: mdp_s@intekom.co.za http://censorbugbear-reports.blogspot.com/2010/11/crime-reports-nov-24-2010.html

Be alert to any strangers

Attackers often obtain valuable information about farm-security measures by pretending to want to buy agricultural products or -tools. To prevent this the farm gates around the homestead must always be locked securily – and place a warning notice (below) at the entrances –  warning visitors that the site is protected and not accessable to strangers.

WALT GIEL van der 71 Attacked farm Ebennaeser Jamestown Picture: This warning notice in Afrikaans, English and Zulu was installed by farmer Giel van der Walt, 71 of Ebenhaeser in Jamestown at the entrance to his gated homestead, after he was attacked recently. Anyone must first make an appointment before they can talk to him.

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Physical signs often give suspected attackers away – be alert:

The farmer must be alert whenever strangers show up. If such people approach him he must become much more alert.

Signs to look out for:

  • People planning an attack often appear nervous with rapid speech, excessive sweating, aggressive hand movements, shallow breathing, eyes glancing about rapidly. They often look quite guilty. Be aware that people wearing coats and jackets can hide weapons inside them.

Farm workers are bribed, intimidated, threatened with death:

Other methods to obtain information is through the farm workers: they intimidate them or bribe them. Workers are threatened with murder of themselves and their families unless they cooperate. Often the attack-gang members give workers money, drinks and cigarettes to bribe them into giving information. Information also is obtained by getting workers drunk and question them. Farmers must maintain good relationships with his workers and convince them to warn him whenever strangers try to obtain information about him. Offer them a reward whenever they do. Attackers often target female servants to find information because she often is the only one who is allowed inside the homestead, and who knows where the safe- and car-keys would be kept; and knows the routines of the farmer and his family. Farmers and family members should never discuss their daily planning routines in front of any servants – ever.

Traps:

If the attack-militia gang discovers that a farmer is aware and has prepared himself for an attack, they will try and lure him into a trap at the farm-gate – often by pretending that their car broke down or a similar pretence; or by getting him to rush to the scene by starting a field-fire, or/and by cutting off the power-supply to the homestead. (Many farmers have been shot dead while investigating their suddenly failed water-pumps and electricity links outside the homestead or to investigate why their dogs are barking so much…)

What should farmers do – and not do –  once they are under attack?

Once under attack, the farmer and his family should be aware of how they should behave to save their lives: the attackers usually are very nervous, screaming and cursing their hostages. Do what they say, don’t take unnecessary heroic actions. Speak calmly and with them as much as possible. Negotiate – offer them money. Plead for your lives. Don’t become aggressive, don’t curse them and don’t engage them in a verbal row because that worsens the situation.

It helps to pray out loud: and if the motive is revenge… try to flee or fight back if given the chance

Victims often also tell us that it helps to pray out loud. Trying to establish the motive of the militia-gang is important: if the only motive is robbery there is a better chance for hostages to survive.

  • However if it’s primarily revenge the attackers are after, the victims should choose the right moment to try and flee or fight back.

Try to escape whenever you can:

Remember, even if the victim does what they demand, he or she must still always try to escape because cooperation is not necessarily a guarantee for security. An attacker can never be trusted.

How does a farmer know when a militia-gang is planning an attack on his farm? Often while doing so they will leave signs behind which farmers should learn to be very alert to.”( This information was supplied by Lichtenburg farmer Koos Geldenhuys, who has made a study of the modus-operandii of farm attacks in consultation with various other experts.  This advice is not only valuable for rural residents but also for people in towns. People can write to Mr Geldenhuys at P O Box 1786, Lichtenburg 2740, cell 082 852 1793; fax  018 632 5914, email amanda@njvn.co.za) . 
http://www.landbou.com/bedrywe/bedryfsake/plaasveiligheid/die-profiel-van-n-plaasaanvaller

African Field Writing: Winning in Farm-Attacks

  •  in Afrikaans only by retired field-tracking police expert Lukas Swart  – who teaches the secret language of African field-writing sign-posting…

Blacks in SA increasingly angry with their greedy elite - strikes hit SA againRetired SA police officer Lukas Swart ‘s book “Winning in farm-attacks’ (in Afrikaans only), explains the secret language of the African field-signs which are often placed around SA homes by criminal gangs while watching your place –  long before their hit-squads plan any attacks on your family. Often your home is watched for many weeks to analyse your movements before these attacks. The gang members communicate with African field-signs, which involve a large variety of colour-coded objects. Targetted victims however can prevent attacks if they know the secret language – but only if you learn to read and interpret them correctly: and know what to do when spotting them. Importantly, this book also teaches you to never remove these signs nor to go and study them up close – because the hit squad could be in the near vicinity,  hiding, watching your place, testing its defences – and then be able to kill you on the spot… The author, a retired SA police officer with extensive knowledge of the secret art of African field-writing, is often hired as a private forensic investigator. He writes that ‘many people are under the impression that as long as they can speak an African language, they would be able to understand enough to be forewarned against armed criminals planning to attack them.” But people should also learn this secret way in which Africans communicate with each other all across the continent…

ordering the book:

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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