Helen Zille, the newly re-elected chairperson of the DA’s federal council, insists that farmers are more likely to be killed in the country.
Zille said she based her claim on the fact that 58 people were killed daily in the country and with the farmer population currently sitting at around 40 000 nationwide, the group has become more vulnerable. She first made this claim on Monday while speaking to Talk Radio 702.
When Independent Media asked her where she got the statistics to make the claim, she explained:
“I quickly did a calculation on the stats Bongani (Bingwa of 702) gave. He said 58 people are murdered in SA a day. And 58 farmers per year.
“Working on 58 million people in SA and 40 000 farmers in SA it is a simple sum. You work it out on Bongani’s figures,” Zille said in response.
Zille claimed that as a result of increasing farm murders, some were selling off while others were emigrating, thus threatening the country’s food security.
Johan Burger, a security analyst at the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), said he was not sure how the stats were obtained.
He said according to a study they did 17 years ago and which needed updating, 2% of the murders were politically motivated while another tiny portion of the murders was a result of disputes between farmers and their employees.
Political analyst, Thabani Khumalo, said the sudden interest in matters affecting farmers was because Zille and others in the DA were re-inventing the party to fight for interests of whites and other minorities.
He said that they have realised that their main competitor is the Freedom Front Plus which is seen by the farming community as fighting for them.
So, from now onwards we will start to see the DA focusing more on issues of farmers, farm murders and crime as they want to serve that class of people,” Khumalo.
National police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo was not available to comment.
However, the 2019 crime statistics show that there were 552 farm attacks last year, 27% more than in 2018.
There were 57 farm murders in 2019, three more than 2018.
This is according to a report released in February by AfriForum in collaboration with ISS and the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai).
In September, police minister Bheki Cele came under fire for saying while farm murders were classified as a serious crime, they were not a priority crime.
He said this in response to a parliamentary question posed by the DA on farm killings.
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