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FARM MURDERS: A NATIONAL PRIORITY? 2012 Johan Burger Crime & Justice Programme INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY STUDIES.

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Presentation on theme: "FARM MURDERS: A NATIONAL PRIORITY? 2012 Johan Burger Crime & Justice Programme INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY STUDIES."— Presentation transcript:

1 FARM MURDERS: A NATIONAL PRIORITY? 2012 Johan Burger Crime & Justice Programme INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY STUDIES

2 Definition of farm attacks Some stats on farm attacks & farm murders Comparing real figures with ratios Who are the victims? Brief history of rural safety since the late-90’s The Rural Protection Plan (RPP) The National Rural Safety Strategy (NRSS) Conclusion Presentation Outline

3 Definition of ‘farm attack’ Attacks on farms and smallholdings [Acts of violence against persons on] refer to acts aimed at the person of residents, workers and visitors to farms and smallholdings, whether with the intent to murder, rape, rob or inflict bodily harm. In addition, all actions aimed at [all acts of violence against the infra-structure and property in the rural community aimed at] disrupting farming activities as a commercial concern, whether for motives related to ideology, labour disputes, land issues, revenge, grievances, racist concerns or intimidation, should be included. [Cases related to domestic violence or liquor abuse, or resulting from commonplace social interaction between people are excluded from the definition]

4 Farm attacks & farm murders 2001/02 – 2006/07 (SAPS Annual Report) Six year total: Fifteen year total: Twenty one year total: Six year total: 587 Fifteen year total: Twenty one year total: ,8%

5 Farm attacks & farm murders 2007 – 2012 (TAUSA figures)

6 Murder: Comparing real figures & ratios (2011)

7 Who are the victims? From the Report of the Committee of Inquiry (2003): victims between : - 61,6% white - 33,3% black - 4,4% Asian - 0,7% coloured 12,3% of the victims were raped: - 29% white - 71% black

8 Who are the victims? (Contd) From TAUSA records ( ): farmers murdered: white - 71 black 407 direct family murdered: white - 32 black 115 workers murdered: - 10 white black

9 Rural safety: Brief history of changing priorities 1997 – Calls by organised agriculture – Govt instructs NOCOC to develop a strategy to improve safety on farms & smallholdings October Rural Protection Plan (RPP) implemented October 1998 – Pres Mandela convenes Rural Safety Summit to ‘deal with rural safety in general and farm attacks in particular’. 1999/2000 – NOCOC/JOINTS establishes Priority Committee on Rural Safety to manage RPP and related issues April 2001 – Appointment of Committee of Inquiry into farm attacks (Report published July 2003) Feb 2003 – Pres Mbeki – announces in parliament the ‘phasing out’ of the commandos and the creation in their place of ‘a new system whose composition and ethos accord with the require- ments of all rural communities’

10 Rural Protection Plan (RPP) Implemented – October 1997 Focus: Protection of all persons on farms & smallholdings Pillars: o Home & hearth protection (farmers, families and workers) - Responsible for own security & act as first respondents to and provide assistance to neighbours o Area-bound reaction forces (Comprised of commando units)

11 National Rural Safety Strategy (NRSS) Implemented – July 2011 (8 years after Pres Mbeki’s statement) (Comprehensive strategy – provides i.a. for station level rural safety plans) Focus: The safety and security of all persons in rural areas (including on farms and smallholdings); improved community policing & crime combating in rural areas; in support of rural development; etc. Pillars: o Enhanced service delivery (supported by sector policing and police reservists) o Integrated approach o Community safety awareness (incl home & hearth protection) o Rural development

12 Conclusion Farmers are disproportionally targeted for attacks compared to other groups and South Africans in general Current strategic approach to rural security is too broad & general and not focused on the actual threat (i.e. attacks on farms and the murder of farmers and persons on farms and not rural crime in general) Overarching strategies such as the National Crime Combating Strategy and the National Rural Safety Strategy are inadequate for specific threats such as farm attacks & farm murders Farm attacks & farm murders should be recognised as a national crisis and addressing it should again become a national priority requiring a focused strategic approach


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