South Africa
Increase in farm attacks during 2016

There has been an increase in farm attacks during 2016, continuing a trend that has developed over the past six years.

Several factors and trends were identified during the analysis of the verified data for 2016.

The first contact between aggressors and victims usually takes place by means of an ambush set for the victims or they are overwhelmed while working outside or are for example switching water pumps on and off.

Victims are also overwhelmed in their homes when the doors are open or they are being surprised when the house is accessed at night while they sleep.

The table shows the steady increase in farm attacks over the last six calendar years clearly. Source: Afriforum

The table shows the steady increase in farm attacks and murders over the last six calendar years clearly. Source: Afriforum

Access to the victims’ property is acquired by cutting electric fences and fences or under the pretext that they want to purchase cattle/sheep or other goods.

Where owners make use of CCTV cameras, the cameras are disconnected and/or broken down without the owners being aware.

Items most commonly stolen include the contents of the safe, weapons, ammunition, cell phones, laptops, tablets, jewellery, electronic equipment, cash and vehicles.

From the available data it was determined that more than 90 firearms were stolen from the victims during attacks.

In 18% of the analysed attacks the victim was wounded during the attack with a firearm. In the majority of cases, 78%, the victims were assaulted and/or seriously injured with multiple weapons.

In 6% of the incidents an attacker was shot by the victim in self defense during the attack.

The analysis showed that in about 75% of cases farms were attacked and in 25% of cases smallholdings.

The reaction time of neighbourhood watches, security structures, security companies and the proximity of police stations in areas with smallholdings may be a reason why attacks have decreased on these properties.

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