Farm murder

Image via Adobe Stock

Farm Attacks: Farm Murders have increased over the past year

Farm murder victims were brutally tortured: burned with irons, battered, kicked or repeatedly stabbed to death.

Farm murder

Image via Adobe Stock

Civil rights organisation AfriForum’s annual crime statistics on farm attacks released this week show a spike in the number of farm murders over the past year.

According to AfriForum’s data there were 395 farm attacks countrywide since April 2020.

|Although there was a decline in the number of farm attacks in the 2020/2021 financial year compared to the previous financial year, there was an increase in farm murders,” AfriFourm said.

During the past year, 59 people were murdered on farms in South Africa, compared to 41 in the previous year.

“Farm attacks continue to be a source of grave concern because of the excessive violence that regularly is used during these crimes. In 22% of the attacks, victims were brutally tortured by burning them with irons, by battering or kicking them to death or by repeatedly stabbing them with a sharp object,” AfriForum said.

Some 64% of victims were over the age of 50. Items that were plundered most often during farm attacks are firearms, vehicles and electronic appliances, although in at least six farm murders nothing was stolen.

“The fact that farm murders and the brutality of the attacks have increased despite a decrease in the number of attacks is extremely worrying. It also shows that the lip service the Minister of Police and the President paid to the matter for a short while last year in fact has not yielded any results and that it is becoming increasingly important for communities to look after their own safety,” Ernst Roets, AfriForum’s Head of Policy and Action said.

AfriForum has encouraged rural residents to take their safety into their own hands, within the framework of the law, and to establish safety networks or to join one of the group’s 160 neighbourhood and farm watches countrywide.

The organisation recently also launched its Safeguard a Farm campaign. For more information about the campaign, please visit