Farm attacks on the rise – TAU SA

Farm attacks and murders in South Africa are on the increase, according to the latest statistics on violent crime on farms released by TAU SA.

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Henry Geldenhuys, vice-president and chairperson of the TAU SA safety committee, said that farm attacks and murders increased in the first six months of 2016 compared to the corresponding period last year. TAU SA’s records for 2016 showed that from January to June 39 murders and 186 attacks were reported.

For the same period last year, 131 attacks and 27 murders were reported. The total number of murders and attacks reported for 2015 were 64 and 318 respectively.

“Government [has] to keep its citizens safe, but is failing to do so,” said Geldenhuys.

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In 2013 and 2014, SAPS’ (South African Police Service) statistics showed that 13% of persons arrested were successfully prosecuted. However, Geldenhuys said that this number had dropped to 9% in 2015.

Dr Johan Burger, senior researcher in the crime and justice programme at the Institute for Security Studies, said that since 2012, there had been a sharp increase in violent crime on farms. In 2012, there were 53 murders and 279 attacks reported.
Burger added that violent crime could not be seen in isolation, and had to be viewed in context, which included the upcoming municiple elections, the ANC leadership election in 2017 and the general election in 2019.

From 1994 to 2011, murder decreased by 54%, from an average of 26 000 murders per year to 15 000. Since 2012, however, murder incidents had increased to an average of 18 000 per year, said Burger.

Burger said that social inequality was a contributing factor to the increase in violent crimes.

“The have-nots are becoming more‚ which leads to the rebellion of those who are excluded.”