Police Minister Bheki Cele has released statistics on farm attacks and murders dating back to 2012, which show that while attacks have increased, the number of murders reported have decreased year-on-year.
In a written response to a parliamentary question from the Freedom Front Plus’ Pieter Groenewald, Cele and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole provided a breakdown of farm attack statistics dating back to the 2012/13 financial year.
It was not clear from the response, however, what criteria were used to qualify an incident as a farm attack.
“The last time that these statistics were disclosed was in 2007,” said Groenewald in a statement on Saturday.
The figures show that over the last six years, since 2012, there were a total of 3 059 attacks reported to police, averaging 510 attacks a year in which 338 people – roughly 56 a year – were killed.
Gauteng had the highest number of farm murders, with 69 murders recorded of the period.
For the 2017/2018 period, 581 incidents were recorded with 47 murders, compared to the 478 incidents between April 2016 and March 2017 where 66 murders were recorded.
The highest number of attacks in the last financial year were recorded in Gauteng (152), followed by the North West (94).
In the same financial year, the North West had the highest number of murders recorded (12) followed by Gauteng (9) then Limpopo and Free State (7 respectively).
“If these figures are compared to other available sources, then they seem to be fairly reliable. It is regrettable that these statistics were swept under the rug under the administration of former president Jacob Zuma,” said Groenewald.
Groenewald said the statistics would help the relevant role players to take meaningful action and implement preventative measures.
“In the interim, the FF Plus will continue with its action plan to inform the international community of the exploits and particularly the cruelty of murders in South Africa by actively liaising with, amongst others, the European Parliament and governments as well as the United Nations (UN) through the FF Plus’ UNPO membership,” he said.