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#CrimeStats: AfriForum slams farm murders stats

Sunday Independent logo Sunday Independent 2018-09-12 Tebogo Monama
a close up of a red light: A bumper stickers calls for the end of farm killings in South Africa, during a blockade of a freeway in Midvaal. File picture: Themba Hadebe/AP © Provided by African Technology and Media Holdings (Pty) Ltd A bumper stickers calls for the end of farm killings in South Africa, during a blockade of a freeway in Midvaal. File picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

The police have only recorded 62 murders at farms and smallholdings across the country despite aims of a genocide against farmers.

AfriForum has this year been on international roadshows to garner support for what it has described as genocide against white farmers.

Its plight caught the attention of US President Donald Trump who last month went on Twitter to speak out against what he called an attack on farmers.

In his tweet, Trump said he asked the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers”.

Major-General Norman Sekhukhune, head of police crime research and statistics, yesterday said the statistics covered acts of violence against persons on farms and smallholdings, whether with the intent to murder, rape, rob or inflict bodily harm.

He said: “In addition, all acts of violence against infrastructure and property in the rural community aimed at disrupting legal farming activities as a commercial concern, whether the motives are related to ideology, land disputes, land issues, revenge, grievances, racist concerns or intimidation, are excluded.”

Also excluded are cases of domestic violence or alcohol abuse.

According to the statistics, there have been 62 murders; six attempted murders; 33 house robberies and two rapes recorded in the last financial year.

But AfriForum rubbished the numbers as a gross misrepresentation.

Ian Cameron, AfriForum head of community safety, said it was impossible that there were so few murders.

“It is absolutely ridiculous unless if police are losing their data.

“Just from January 1 this year, there have been 300 farm attacks and 41 murders. How on earth is it possible that they have fewer attacks and murders?” he asked.

He said their organisation shares their statistics with the police on a regular basis and should, therefore, be on par.

“I am scared to say it is deliberate especially now with all this attention from the international community,” Cameron said.

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