Many farmers perceive the attacks to be racially motivated. Fact checking organisation Africa Check has stated that black and colored people account for less than 38.4% of victims, while accounting for 89% of South Africa’s population.
Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has stated that attacks were not motivated by race but by greed. Moreover, the South African Police Service has declared that there is no evidence of organised attacks.
The disbandment of the Commandos of the South African Commando System has been linked to the escalating level of farm attacks. In January 2015, AfriForum reported that there has been an increase in farm attacks and murders in the previous five years.
Human Rights Watch has criticized the term “farm attacks” and the disproportional attention they received.