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6 Farm murders and more than 29 farm attacks in June, some tortured with boiling water

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Agri SA says there were 29 farm attacks in June.

TAU SA says it has already verified 40 attacks, including six murders.

Many victims were seriously injured and even tortured.

Among them are the son and daughter of farm workers who were shot on a farm outside Polokwane on June 18. The boy was shot in the thigh and his sister in the elbow.

A boy was shot in the neck in an attack on a holding north of Pretoria.

The attack was one of seven in the same area within 24 hours.

Pieter (65) and Ann Nel (61) of Remhoogte in Brits were attacked on 5 June. Pieter was shot in the chest and admitted to the intensive care unit.

The following day, Schalk, 64, and Lana Coetzee, 63, were burned with boiling water in a farm robbery outside Reivillo. The following murders were recorded:

  • June 1: Dr. Roelof Botha is killed at Tulbagh in the Western Cape; 
  • June 4: Solomon Mbokane, a farmer from Badplaas in Mpumalanga, is killed;
  • June 6: Eduard Neumeister, 67, is assaulted and killed at Balgowan in KwaZulu-Natal;
  • June 16: Kosie Botha, 63, a farmer from Freedom in KwaZulu-Natal, is found dead in his home. His hands and feet were tied and he was presumably strangled;
  • June 21: Edwin Kotzé, 56, is killed in a robbery at Buffelsdrift, north of Pretoria;
  • June 23: Albert Küssel, 63, is killed at Sundra on a holding.

“A farmer’s primary responsibility is to produce food and not to have to patrol at night to protect himself and his property. 

“This is a direct result of the police’s inability to protect citizens effectively,” says Tommie Esterhuyse, head of Agri SA’s rural security center.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to calm the minds of farmers and farm workers at the ground level when they insist on their right to safety, he said in a statement issued following numerous recent farm attacks.

South Africa is in one of the most difficult economic situations and with it the sector is facing an agriculture-unfriendly government and policy uncertainty. 

Uncertainty and increasing rural crime do not contribute to creating an environment in which agriculture can perform and contribute to economic development, he says.

The farming community must continue to act responsibly and insist that the police fulfill its constitutional duty and protect all citizens. 

Esterhuyse says the government must pay careful attention to the value of agriculture in its policy development and its policing in rural areas.

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