By Daniel Itai
Gareth Newham, head of Justice and Violence Prevention Programme at the Institute of Security Studies has said the issue of South Africa’s farm murders needs to be viewed in a broader spectrum.
Of late, there has been a lot of political contentions over farm murders with the country’s main opposition party, the DA, calling for more protection towards white commercial farmers and the ruling party, the ANC, arguing that farm murders are not racialized.
“We are not going to protect farmers if we have 58 people that are killed per day we have to look at the bigger picture of violence in South Africa. Moreso, you can’t get a single number of how many farmers are being killed in South Africa because they are visitors, farm workers, farm dwellers it’s difficult to pinpoint.
There is a lot of politics over farm murders we have to look at the facts and figures. There are a number of factors why farm attacks are violent and it’s not only farmers even in urban areas and it’s not only white farmers. Moreover, the highest murder rates are in informal settlements and in poor townships with young black males being the most murdered,” said Newham.
However, the DA has since argued that they are only 40 000 white commercial farmers left who have to feed the whole of South Africa citing that if government doesn’t act on protecting them then they will flee leaving South Africa food insecure.
Already Australia has since sent an open invitation to South African white commercial farmers who are in need of relocation as a result of the farm killings and land grabs.
It’s now yet to be seen whether or not government will impose certain measures to curb the rampant killings of white commercial farmers as the DA postulates.