Crime Stats: 'Culture of violence against farmers unacceptable' – Agri SA

Agri SA strongly condemned what it called "the continued violence that the farming community and fellow South Africans face daily".

This followed the announcement of the 2017/18 national crime statistics in Parliament on Tuesday.

During the period under review, South Africa's murder rate increased by 6.9%.

In real numbers, this means that a total of 20 336 people were murdered in South Africa in the past year, 1 320 more than in the previous year.

Sixty-two of these were categorised as farm murders: 12 in Gauteng, nine each in Limpopo and the North West, eight each in Mpumalanga and the Free State, seven in KwaZulu-Natal, and three each in the Easter Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape.

READ: Murder by numbers: This is the rate of killing in SA

In a statement, Agri SA called this number "worrying".  

"Murders and attacks on the farming community remain too high and are unacceptable," said Kobus Breytenbach, chair of the Agri SA Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety.

"If more South Africans and international role players bring this to light, there will be improved action to prevent farm murders and attacks."

According to the statement, the Agri Securitas Trust Fund had contributed more than R10m to farm security and crime prevention and had helped thousands of farmers and farmworkers.

"The Agri Securitas Trust Fund's work over the years to safeguard farming communities is commendable and is delivering good results," said Breytenbach.

OVERVIEW: 'We haven't reached a state of lawlessness' in SA - Cele on 2017/2018 #CrimeStats

The so-called trio crimes – house robbery, business robbery and hijackings – "are the crimes that the farming community is most exposed to and it is detrimental to the livelihoods of those who work in agriculture", Agri SA said.

"The levels of brutality are too high and effective efforts, supported by intelligence, must be actioned to improve response times and prevent these farm attacks," Breytenbach said.

Agri SA said it had requested an urgent meeting with the police minister to "find solutions for the culture of violence in our farming communities".

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