Home South African Couple survives farm attack, DA reiterates call for specialised crime-fighting units

Couple survives farm attack, DA reiterates call for specialised crime-fighting units

211

’Farmer Andre Claasen and his wife had just returned home when they were confronted by an attacker who aimed his firearm at Mr Claasen’s and pulled the trigger.’

File image

DURBAN – a farming couple escaped unscathed in a farm attack incident in the Paulpietersburg area, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on the weekend.

DA KZN spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Development Elma Rabe said that according to reports the incident took place on Saturday evening.

“Farmer Andre Claasen and his wife had just returned home when they were confronted by an attacker who aimed his firearm at Mr Claasen’s and pulled the trigger. Fortunately, the firearm did not go off and the couple was able to speed away to safety,” Rabe said.

She said the DA again called for the urgent introduction of specialised crime-fighting units in rural areas following the attack.

Rabe said that while no one was injured in this instance, it was very clear what the perpetrator’s intention was.

“The DA has requested time and again … that a special task team be established to deal with ongoing attacks on our rural communities. Regrettably, our calls keep falling on deaf ears,” Rabe said.

She said farmers were critical to our survival in the country and the attacks on them were being ignored.

“A specialised task team would not only create a strong presence within rural communities, but it would also perform a vital role in ensuring that such attacks are prevented in the first place.”

The police had not commented by the time of publication.

Last week, AfriForum released a report on farm attacks and farm murders in South Africa.

The report provided an overview of the characteristics of farm murders over the last six years, from 2016 to 2021.

During that period, 364 farm murders could be verified, AfriForum said.

AfriForum’s head of Policy and Action Ernst Roets said: “An average of 47% of known attackers during farm murders were arrested, but only 33% of the arrested perpetrators were convicted. This is truly shocking and shows how the criminal justice system fails victims of farm attacks.”

The report also found that there was not a single year in which torture did not occur and that, on average, 15% of farm murder victims were tortured.

AfriForum researcher Johan Nortjé said that in 2020, the percentage of murder victims who were tortured was 24%.

“This shows that farm attacks are not just an ordinary crime and should be prioritised.”

Highlights of the report:

Gauteng had the highest number of documented farm murders, whereas the Northern Cape had the lowest.

More than 50% of murders occurred on farms, not smallholdings.

The average age of victims was 57 years, and most murder victims were male.

While most murders occurred between 6pm and 8.59pm, murder incidents occurred during any time of day.

Shootings were the leading cause of death in 52% of murder victims whose cause of death was known.

Roets added: “In the light of the murder and torture rates on farms, it is now necessary for farmers to take their safety into their own hands. AfriForum aims to make farmers and their families more defensible against farm attacks. AfriForum will continue to drive projects, actions and campaigns to improve the safety of our farmers and support them where we can.”

Previous articleTwo KZN girls, aged 6 and 14, kidnapped and murdered
Next articleMark Alexander congratulates rugby nominees for SA Sport Awards