Pretoria – This year alone there have been 116 recorded farm attacks with more than a fifth resulting in deaths, AfriForum said on Thursday. There had been a rise in farm murders since 1990 with 23% of those in 2015 ending in death.
The organisation said 27 farm murders had been reported since January with Limpopo being the hardest hit.
The province had experienced 25 attacks including five deaths.
Second was Mpumalanga with 21 attacks and two murders.
The Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces recorded the least incidents, with each experiencing three attacks and one murder.
Attacks more violent
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets told News24 while it appeared the numbers recorded in the last six months were slightly lower than those recorded last year, there was a possibility they could go higher.
“What we have seen is a spike in murders at certain times of the year. We generally see more killings in the Easter and Christmas period,” he said. By December 2014 there had been 278 reported attacks with 60 resulting in deaths.
AfriForum researcher Lorraine Claasen said it appeared this year’s attacks were more violent in nature. In all the murders seen this year, none of the victims have been children. “Children tend to be tied up if they are there during the attack. They are asked for information on where things are kept around the property,” she said.
While farming communities were being trained on how to protect themselves and aid police in their investigations, Roets said there were little convictions in farm murder cases.
“In cases where there have been arrests, less than 24% result in convictions,” he said.