Tag: Farm murders

News: Glen and Vida Rafferty were gunned down in Normandien -KZN

Following a nationwide protest against farm murders on Saturday, there’s been a double homicide on a farm in KwaZulu-Natal.

Glen and Vida Rafferty were gunned down in Normandien on Saturday evening.

Unknown attackers shot the farm owner, 63, and his wife, both 60, as well as their dog, according to police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.

Police attended the murder scene at around 06:00 on Sunday.

Newcastle Mayor Ntuthuko Mahlaba described the attack as a “gruesome atrocity” and called for the speedy arrest of the killers, News24 reported.

KZN police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala told eNCA suspects ransacked the house before making off with their vehicle, which has since been recovered.

The Democratic Alliance has urged KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala and his government to take rural and farm safety more seriously following the double murder.

“The DA in KwaZulu-Natal is dismayed and horrified by reports of a double murder on a farm murder near Normandien in the Battlefields area of the province”, KwaZulu-Natal DA MPL and spokesperson on agriculture Chris Pappas said in a statement on Sunday.

“Sadly, South Africans have become all too accustomed to the ANC-led government paying lip service when it comes to many of the challenges that our people face. Certainly, rural safety is one of these issues and our communities are increasingly being forced to take their safety into their own hands. This, while ANC leaders fight over Covid-19 tenders and jostle for power in an organisation that has repeatedly admitted that South Africans are not their priority,” Pappas said.

This latest murder came just two days after the province’s agriculture and rural development portfolio committee should have met to make recommendations and resolutions on issues affecting the safety of farmers, farm workers, and rural communities. Unfortunately, the meeting was postponed in what had become a drawn out process that started in January 2020, Pappas said.

On the table for discussion were important recommendations made by the DA and supported by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province.

These included:

– declaring farm attacks/murders hate crimes or priority crimes due to their brutal nature;

– establishing an inter-ministerial task team to report to the premier on rural safety;

– calling a rural safety summit where experts could advise government on practical steps to make rural areas safer;

– directly subsidising farm patrols, farm watches, and private security initiatives; and

– making better use of technology such as licence plate recognition, drones, and CCTV in the fight against crime.

Sources: ANA, enca, News24

 

News: Protests against the brutal farm murders in SA

Farmers in Limpopo are protesting against the rapid increase in brutal farms murders around the country.

Last week, Alwyn van Zyl was murdered by armed robbers causing the rural communities to stand together.

The accused suspects are expected to appear in court near Naboomspruit today.

There has been an escalation in farm murders despite the lockdown and police presence.

Farmers, workers and landowners are all victims of these attacks.

 

Crime News: Five suspects arrested for the Brand Family farm murder.

Five suspects in the Hartswater farm murder case have appeared in court for the first time since their arrest earlier this week.

The group is accused of abducted three members of the Brand family, before killing them and abandoning the bodies.

Of the group, two suspects were in their teens and the oldest is aged 42.

A female suspect also appeared in the dock on Thursday. They all rejected an offer of bail and were charged with three counts of murder, kidnapping, and robbery each.

These Schedule 6 offences tend to carry some very stiff penalties, the South African reported.

The alleged farm murder ‘gang’ will remain in police custody until 13 August, as one of the accused has confirmed they will be securing the services of a private attorney to fight their case personally.

According to the South African, AfriForum estimates that July has been a particularly bloody month for farm murders. Nine separate deaths have been reported in the past four weeks, and those mounting frustrations have boiled over in the Northern Cape. For those in Hartswater – and beyond – ‘enough is enough’

 

 

Crime News: Triple Farm Murders in Hartswater.

The bodies of all three family members kidnapped from a smallholding in Hartswater in the Northern Cape have been found. Five people have been arrested.

The murdered bodies of an elderly couple have been found by police after the latest farm attack in the Northern Cape, the family has confirmed.

 Police had searched since Sunday for family Danie Brand, 83, his wife Breggie, 73, and their daughter Elzabie, 54, who lived on a smallholding in Hartswater, Northern Cape.

On Tuesday morning, police discovered the body of Elzabie Brand, in a field in the Taung area, north of Hartswater.

In the afternoon, at around 5pm, the family was informed by police they had found the elderly couple too.

“They’ve just found my parents. They’re gone,” a heartbroken son-in-law Wikus Taljaard told News24.

They were about to sit down to Sunday lunch when they were attacked… they always hit you when you are most vulnerable.” Taljaard told News24.

“These are good people, lovely people – they have been doing so much for the community,” Taljaard said.

Recently, however, their miniature Doberman pinscher had been killed, around two weeks ago.

“My Dad said it was a snake – but it’s quite cold for snakes in winter, isn’t it?” speculated Taljaard.

Of the attack itself, he said:

“It was quite strange: nothing was taken, except for the vehicles. And no money has been withdrawn from any of their accounts. So why did they (the attackers) need to take them away?”

Police confirmed the parents’ bodies were found in a veld in Takaneng Village, said spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

A fifth suspect, aged 36, has also been arrested. This after a 42-year-old woman, and three men, aged between 18 and 20, were arrested earlier on Tuesday.

Mase Manopole, newly-appointed Northern Cape MEC for agriculture, environmental affairs, land reform and rural development, has condemned the attack, saying she was “working closely with various stakeholders, including the police, to put a stop in the killing of farmers.”

In a strongly worded statement, Dianne Kohler Barnard, chairperson of the DA’s rural safety workstream, asks, “Mr President, will you ignore the Brand family farm attack, too?”

Sources: News24, foodformzansi

 

 

Crime News: Gruesome murder of pregnant woman sparks political action

A pregnant woman had her throat slit on Saturday evening, during a gruesome farm murder that also targeted a male victim and two children.

The death of the mother and her unborn child has repulsed the South African political class, with two parties vowing to bring the issue of rural killings to the president’s doorstep.

The murder took place in Weenen, KNZ, and the following details have been confirmed, according to The South African.

  • Three unknown males gained access via the back kitchen door.
  • The suspects held the father at knifepoint, demanding money. Two young children were also present.
  • In trying to subdue the pregnant woman, she was taken to the bathroom. Her throat was cut by one of the attackers.
  • The father is receiving treatment in hospital, and the attackers fled the property empty-handed.

Chris Pappas, a DA spokesperson for agriculture in KZN, was left incandescent with the brutality. He is pleading with Cyril Ramaphosa to ‘break his silence’ on farm murders and have them reclassified as ‘hate crimes’.

“We are shocked and appalled by the murder that took place in Weenen, KZN – especially due to the loss of an unborn child. There are now two fundamental issues South Africans must deal with: Why does the president stay silent on these incidents? And why are farm murders not classed as hate crimes?”

FF Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald, is also set to lobby our head of state to explain how farm murders are a threat to all races, as well as leaving South Africa’s ability to grow crops and produce food vulnerable. The fifth-biggest party in the country has asked rural citizens to ‘fight fire with fire’ – if it’s legal to do so.

“We will send an official letter to President Ramaphosa to address this incident and the occurrence of farm attacks in general as well as to bring it to the President’s attention that his impression that only white farmers are being murdered is wrong. All farmers in South Africa are being targeted and murdered.”

“This is a serious threat to food security and President Ramaphosa cannot put off taking action any longer. The agricultural community must prepare to fight fire with fire, within the constraints of the law. The senseless massacre of the people of the agricultural community simply cannot continue any longer.” FF Plus statement

 

Source: The South African

Photo Credit: Unsplash

 

 

Crime News: Ramaphosa slammed for silence after rise in farm attacks.

The DA is calling on Cyril Ramaphosa to “tell South Africa what his government will be doing to address the issue of farm murders”. The party launched a campaign to raise this matter in Parliament last week, but they have been apparently stonewalled by officials at the National Assembly according to The South African.

RAMAPHOSA URGED TO ADDRESS RURAL CRIME SPIKE

MP Dianne Kohler Barnard has taken up the mantle with this, and on Tuesday, she directed her anger towards the president. In a fiercely-worded statement, the rural safety activist challenged Ramaphosa to make an urgent statement on how lawmakers could help limit farm murders in the country. So far, Cyril has stayed silent much to the chagrin of Kohler Barnard and her colleagues.

There has not been a peep from the side of government indicating that it is paying any attention to farm murders. But this is not out of character for a government that likes to praise farmers when they need them but is never forthcoming with assistance of any kind to the farming community when it is in crisis.”

“It is as if farmers and farmworkers have been declared persona non grata. They are needed to ensure food security but are then left to try and solve any and all problems they might encounter on their own.”

“Violent crime is rampant, but few crimes seem to illicit such a poor response from government than farm murders. The victims of these attacks are often tortured in the most brutal ways, and most are considered lucky if they escape with their lives. Yet the government remains quiet.” Said Dianne Kohler Barnard

FARM MURDERS – LATEST STATISTICS

Since South Africa entered lockdown, farm murders have continued at an alarming pace.

Data shared highlights why the issue of rural security has become such a pressing concern:

  • Farming group TLA SA estimates that there have been 59 farm attacks since 1 April 2020.
  • A further 12 murders since that date have also been recorded.
  • That works out to be 4.67 attacks and almost least one murder each week during lockdown.
  • The African Centre for Food Security has also stated that ‘increased hunger and poverty’ has contributed to a spike in rural crimes.

 

Source: The South African

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