Two separate farm attacks, both of which occurred in Limpopo over the weekend, have reignited calls for government to better protect rural communities.
The latest spate of attacks has been condemned by the Democratic Alliance (DA), with Limpopo Premier Candidate, Jacques Smalle, calling for urgent intervention. Smalle suggested that a specialised law enforcement unit, which would deal exclusively with farm-related crimes, be deployed to embattled areas.
FARM ATTACK 13/4/19: Marble Hall, Limpopo. 3 victims were surprised by 4 armed attackers. 1 Victim resisted and was fired upon twice, yet escaped without injury and was able to call for help. Firearms and phones stolen, 1 victim in hospital after assault with crowbar, no arrests. pic.twitter.com/NCIvu6LDy3
— Ian Cameron (@IanCameron23) April 14, 2019
Ian Cameron, head of Community Safety for AfriForum, who closely monitors all reported attacks on farmers, took to Twitter to announce the bloodshed in Limpopo. Early on Sunday morning, Cameron issued a statement, detailing an attack which took place on the outskirts of Marblehall, north of Groblersdal. Cameron said:
“3 victims were surprised by 4 armed attackers. 1 Victim resisted and was fired upon twice, yet escaped without injury and was able to call for help. Firearms and phones stolen, 1 victim in hospital after assault with crowbar, no arrests.”
This attack on Saturday night was followed by a more violent and deadly assault which occurred 100 kilometres west of Marblehall.
As reported by Cameron, an unknown number of assailants ambushed a married couple on a farm outside Bela Bela in Limpopo. The attackers gunned down the husband, who died on the scene. The deceased’s wife, who was shot in the chest, managed to escape and was rushed to hospital by a neighbouring farmer. Cameron explained:
“2 victims were surprised by an unknown number of assailants. One victim was shot below the chin and passed away. Wife was shot in the chest, ran away and taken to hospital by a neighbour. Possessions and a bakkie stolen. No arrests made.”
Calls for specialised units to fight rural farm attacks
According to a report by SAPeople.com, the attack occurred on plot 24 Roodepoort in Bela Bela. The surviving victim is currently in a critical condition.
Smalle extended his condolences to the friends and family of those affected by the latest wave of farm attacks, reiterating his call for a specialised task team, saying:
“[Government must] reintroduce specialised units to prevent and investigate specific crime such as rural farm attacks, murder, rape, robbery, stock theft, child abuse, drug and human trafficking.”