Drought in Lesotho contributing factor to the increase in Free State farm attacks

An escalation in crime on farms along the Lesotho border can be expected in the foreseeable future, according to Tommie Esterhuyse, Free State Agriculture’s (FSA) Safety and Security chairperson.

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He said in a statement indications were that Lesotho citizens were responsible for the two most recent farm attacks in the province.

According to Esterhuyse, research by FSA’s Safety and Security Desk indicated that Lesotho citizens were increasingly targeting SA farms.

“The devastating effects of the drought in Lesotho could be a contributing factor. According to a recent report by the World Food Organisation (WFO) Lesotho is experiencing serious food insecurity. Grazing in that country has been virtually destroyed,” said Esterhuyse.

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This followed reports of two farm attacks in four days in Clocolan earlier this month.

On 17 July, Carl du Randt, his wife Lydia, and their eight-year-old son, Carl Jr, were attacked by four men on their farm. In the second incident Henry Minnaar was attacked by three men on 21 July on his farm.

The Du Randt family as well as Minnaar were assaulted by the attackers, who demanded money from them. No arrests were reported by Monday 25 July.