By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
Activists say South African authorities are tacitly approving attacks on the country’s white farmers, with one being murdered every five days, and the police turning a blind eye to the violence.
The white nationalist lobbying group AfriForum says that when lawmakers passed a motion last month which could see land being seized from farmers without compensation, it sent a message that landowners could be attacked with impunity.
It said there have been 109 recorded attacks so far in 2018 and 15 farm murders, meaning that this year, one white farmer has been killed every five days.
In a statement, Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Safety said: “Our rural areas are trapped in a crime war. Although the South African government denies that a violence crisis is staring rural areas in the face, the numbers prove that excessive violence plague these areas.”
Gabriel Stols, 35, told the Independent how his younger brother Kyle, 21, was shot dead by four people on a game reserve near Bloemfontein.
“What is happening to us is torture, it is slaughter, it is brutal, it is revenge. The world doesn’t know what is happening in South Africa,” he said.
Hannetjie Ludik, 56, from Pretoria, told the paper that three armed men broke into her family’s house, stole money and raped her.
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa said the government did not condone attacks or the the seizure of white-owned farms and insisted there would be no repeat of what happened in Zimbabwe a generation ago.
But AfriForum says that the parliament’s bill has led to a culture of revenge among those spoiling for a redistribution of land in a country where some 80% of people describe themselves as black African, but only 1.2% of that community own the country’s rural land.
The policy was proposed by the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema who says redistributing land can correct historical injustices.
While there is broader political support for the move, a more measured approach is being called for by Kenneth Meshoe, the head of the African Christian Democratic Party, who told The Independent he believes in land distribution, although he says it should not be taken without compensation
“People like Malema who are promoting hate speech should not be allowed,” he added.
Thousands of people have signed a petition asking Donald Trump to let white people in South Africa to migrate to the U.S.
Meanwhile, Australian Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, said he would push for his country to grant visas to white farmers, should they be displaced.
He provocatively said that such people could be helped from “a civilized country like ours”, sparking anger from South Africa’s Foreign Ministry which called for a retraction.
The fact-checking website, Africa Check, concluded in May 2017 that getting an accurate statistic on the country’s farm murder rate, which it estimated at 0.4 murders per 100,000 people, was “near impossible”.
Gareth Newham from South Africa’s Institute for Security Studies, told the Guardian there was no evidence white farmers were targeted any more than anyone else.
*** The world is silent on this….question is why?
The couple, who had lived in the area for 20 years, were tied up, stabbed, and tortured with a blowtorch for several hours. The masked men stuffed a plastic bag down Mrs Howarth’s throat, and attempted to strangle her husband with a bag around his neck.
The couple were bundled into their own truck, still in their pyjamas, and driven to a roadside where they were shot. Mrs Howarth, 64, a former pharmaceutical company executive, was shot twice in the head. Mr Lynn, 66, was shot in the neck.
Miraculously he survived, and managed to flag down a passer-by early on Sunday morning. Mrs Howarth, who police said was “unrecognisable” from her injuries, had multiple skull fractures, gunshot wounds and “horrific” burns to her breasts.
“Sue was discovered amongst some trees, lying in a ditch,” writes Jana Boshoff, reporter for the local Middelburg Observer newspaper. “Her rescuers managed to find her by following her groans of pain and then noticing drag marks from the road into the field.
In any other country, such a crime would be almost unthinkable. But in South Africa, these kinds of farm attacks are happening nearly every day. This year so far, there have been more than 70 attacks and around 25 murders in similar attacks on white farmers.
Earlier this month, for example, 64-year-old Nicci Simpson was tortured with a power drill during an attack involving three men at her home on a farm in the Vaal area, about two hours drive from Johannesburg.
When paramedics arrived, they found three dead dogs, and the woman lying in a pool of blood, spokesman Russel Meiring told News24. “They used a drill to torture her,” police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini said.