The TLU SA report showed that farm murders increased from 637 from 1990 to 1999, to 799 between 2000 and 2009, a 22% increase.Farmers have expressed concern that farm attacks have increased by 60% in the last decade.

The biannual crime statistics were released yesterday by TLU SA.

Comprising commercial farmers, mainly from the former Transvaal Agricultural Union, the TLU SA presents biannual agriculture crime statistics as part of its presentation on farm attacks and murders. The official incidents report figures covered the period from 1990 to 2019.

However, statistics from both TLU SA and the police showed murders on farms had decreased during the 2009-19 period.

A total of 1,125 farm attacks were reported between 1990 and 1999 with an increase of 22% (1,407 attacks) reported between 2000 and 2009. In the past nine years, from 2010 to 2019, the figure rose by 60% to 2,616 attacks.

The TLU SA report showed that farm murders increased from 637 from 1990 to 1999, to 799 between 2000 and 2009, a 22% increase.

In the next nine years until 2019, there were 586 farm murders.

Figures released by AgriSA in May last year, derived from their own research and police statistics, showed a decline in farm murders but a slight increase in attacks.

The figures indicated that farm murders went down from the 2016-17 statistic to 47 in 2017- 18, which was far below the 153 in 1997-98.

But TLU SA was adamant that its report was correct.

“These statistics are shocking. But for TLU SA these are not just statistics,” said deputy general manager of TLU SA, Major-General Chris van Zyl.

“It is 2,022 members of our farming community murdered since 1990. It is 5,148 times families and farmworkers feared for their lives during a farm attack, but still it is not important enough for the government and President Cyril Ramaphosa to condemn this attack against farmers,” he said.

“Just this year already, there were various opportunities for the president to give farm attacks and murders the needed attention.

“The reasonable person can accept that he and, in turn, the ANC government see these crimes as inferior and approves it.”

The TLU SA figures were confirmed by criminal law expert and professor at the University of Pretoria, Llewellyn Curlewis. He said the figures were correct as a joint investigation was done by TLU SA.

“There was a joint task team that compiled these statistics, comparing with previous statistics. These are daunting figures … because they show not only farm attacks are on the increase, but there is a global increase on all crimes,” Curlewis said.

Van Zyl said TLU SA was aware that crime across the country was out of control, with 56 murders taking place every day.

The organisation quoted Dr Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies as saying that the past six years saw an increase of 17% in murders and more than 20,000 people murdered during 2017-18.

“The high rates of aggression and purposeful torture in farm attacks and murders is what separates these crimes from other violent crimes. There is a definite link to the land question, the agricultural sector should see safety as the most important common factor,” Van Zyl added.

TLU SA was planning to meet police National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole in August to discuss the implementation of an agriculture-friendly reservist system, local integration of available resources, declaring farm attacks and murders as priority crimes, and farm safety.

“The farming community should further focus on using technology, communication and information, and the use of contingency plans as implemented by TLU SA already,” Van Zyl said.

Agriculture, land reform and rural development department spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo was unavailable for comment.

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The TLU SA report showed that farm murders increased from 637 from 1990 to 1999, to 799 between 2000 and 2009, a 22% increase.Farmers have expressed concern that farm attacks have increased by 60% in the last decade. The biannual crime statistics were released yesterday by TLU SA. Comprising commercial farmers,...