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The agricultural sector was struck by 26 farm murders and 141 farm attacks so far this year. It does, however, look like TLU SA’s advice on safety and alertness adds to protecting farmers against murder.

 

“It is clear that effective resistance and the implementation of self-defence techniques lead to the death or severe injuring of various attackers,” says Maj-Gen Chris van Zyl, the deputy general manager of TLU SA. “From the accounts of farmers who maintained proper levels of preparedness, attackers were not able to surprise them or catch them off-guard.  An awareness of strange or unnatural signs and immediate access to weapons prevented the loss of innocent lives and serious injuries.”

 

There was a decrease in violent crimes since the inception of the lockdown. Between January and March this year, TLU SA recorded 71 farm attacks and 14 murders. Since then violent crimes started increasing to levels on par with those before the lockdown, and between April and June, there was 68 attacks and 12 murders under farm residents.

 

“The high levels of violence against victims is not in comparison to the obvious motives like robbery and theft of money, weapons and tradeable goods like computers and cellphones,” says Maj-Gen Van Zyl. “Organised agriculture cannot monitor court cases to confirm actual motives.

 

“The analysis of murder victims show without a doubt that white farmers, families and farm workers make up two-thirds of murder victims. The particularly high levels of violence and torture indicate a high level of racial hatred, which deeply concerns us.”

 

TLU SA calls on farmers to be alert and to work together in Farm Watches to strengthen farm safety. Even though farm attacks still count as priority crimes, it does not receive as much dedicated personnel as other priority crimes. The SAPS simply does not have enough capacity to protect farmers.

 

 

Issued by:                  TLU SA

 

Date:                           6 July  2020

 

Enquiries:                  Maj-Gen Chris van Zyl (aft), Deputy General Manager TLU SA,                                                 Cell.: 082 461 7262

 

Mr Henry Geldenhuys, Chair TLU SA Safety committee,

                                    Cell.: 072 716 9299

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