Farm Murders a national crisis
27 November 2012 3 Comments
Farm murders should be classified as a priority crime – they are a national crisis
By Nico Strydom on 27 November 2012 – ‘Farm murders and attacks should be recognised for the national crisis that it is and therefore deserving of priority status and focused attention’. This is one of the recommendations in a report on farm murders and attacks that was released today by the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI). The report forms part of a national campaign against farm murders by the Solidarity Movement which includes the SRI, the trade union Solidarity, AfriForum and Kraal Uitgewers.
The report deals with subjects such as the nature and extent of farm attacks, levels of violence during farm attacks as well as psychological effects on victims.
SA government claims these are just another ’murder-category’
According to Dirk Hermann, Deputy General Secretary of Solidarity, farm attacks and farm murders should be declared priority crimes. ‘Government refuses to declare farm murders, in particular, a priority crime, because as far as government is concerned it simply forms part of the broader murder category. This is unacceptable and irresponsible,’ Hermann said. Hermann’s concerns were echoed by various experts who were involved in compiling the report.
‘Farming community disproportionally targetted’ – Institute for Security Studies
‘It is obvious that the government no longer considers the ongoing attacks on farms and the murder of persons involved in the farming community as a priority,’ said Dr Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, in the report’s introduction.
- ‘The strategic and operational response to the threat of farm attacks and murders is clearly not based on the acknowledgement that the farming community is disproportionally targeted when compared to the victimisation risk of other citizens or groups in South Africa.’
“Farmers under siege not taken seriously by government” – Criminology expert Prof Christiaan Bezuidenhout
According to Prof Christiaan Bezuidenhout, a professor of criminology at the University of Pretoria, it is evident that South Africa is struggling to cope with violent crime in general and farm attacks in particular. ‘I am under the impression that the current government is not taking the disastrous enigma of farmers under siege seriously enough and they are making the farmer the outcast instead of the provider of the nation.’
“ No human being deserves to be killed in such an inhumane, brutal manner” – Lorraine Claasen, criminologist:
Lorraine Claasen, a criminologist, says it is disconcerting that farm attacks are still not given the attention they deserve despite the harrowing details that become apparent after only reading the details of a few farm attacks; thousands of attacks have been documented. ‘In conclusion, no human being deserves being killed and in such an inhumane, unjustified and brutal manner. Why is this allowed?’
Memorandi to 110 embassies and international institutions:
AfriForum, the movement’s civil rights organisation, distributed memorandums about farm murders to 110 embassies and international institutions in October to create international awareness about the crisis.
- According to Nantes Kelder, head of AfriForum’s investigating unit, the establishment of community safety networks is the most practical step a community can take to drastically reduce crime in its area. It is a legal way in which communities can take the initiative to enhance their own safety.
Media statement, Solidarity, 27 November 2012.
Why are Afrikaner farmers being murdered in South Africa?