Bloody Harvestby Liz Vercueil / 13.01.2010
So, it took only five days for the first South Africa farm killing of 2010 to take place. An elderly couple were killed on their Free State farm in what emergency personnel described as a massacre. Stabbed and shot in their own house, to be more precise. You wouldn’t think that being a farmer would justify danger pay, but you’d be wrong. In fact, in South Africa more farmers are murdered than cops, and that takes some doing. I could go into statistics about this, but you don’t have six weeks to read this article, and I don’t have the stomach left to research it. So let’s just stick to the last month or so.
Since the beginning of December at least eight people living on farms have been murdered and more than 12 farm attacks took place. These are just preliminary estimates, though. The numbers will inevitably tick upwards.
The question that begs answering is, of course, why?
In the vast majority of farm murders and attacks very little is stolen. Maybe a cellphone, or a car that will inevitably be abandoned or driven off the road as part of the mostly successful escape. Any conspiracy theorist will, at this point, be able to latch onto some possibilities. Is it political? Is there an organised campaign against white farmers? They are the one’s getting slaughtered, after all, and we do live in a country drenched in every kind of discrimination available. Or is theft without a side serving of murder just too last Wednesday to indulge in these days?
South Africa sees more people murdered on a daily basis than most warzones, so does it matter whether the victim’s a farmer? If you consider that farmers feed the nation and without them you’d have to dig up your garden, plant a mielie or ten and learn how to butcher your dinner, it does matter. Or if your family lives on a farm, like mine.
So what’s the solution? Build a fortress? Buy seven enraged, racist Rottweilers and keep them hungry while hoping they don’t devour your toddler?
The most practical advice, in my opinion, is to re-institute the commando system, which functioned as part of the defence force. This system allowed farmers to patrol and protect their land in conjunction with the military, and was erased shortly after 1994. Apparently for being way too politically incorrect.