South Africas farmers face murderous attacks

28 August 1998

  • South Africas farmers face murderous attacks

    MURDEROUS attacks on South Africas farmers have now reached such a scale they have become a national issue, reports The Herald.

    The South African Agricultural Union, the voice of white commercial growers, shows that more than 550 members of the small farming community have been killed in 2355 attacks since the beginning of 1994. Police statistics tell a similar story.

    There is a clear racial dimension to the attacks: the assailants are nearly always black, while the victims are almost always white. This dichotomy is reflected in the political split in the country, between the African National Congress, with its base in South Africas black community, and the parties which represent most farmers, either the Freedom Front or the National Party.

    A police report to President Mandela asserts that that most of the attacks are criminal. But there remains a widely-held belief among white farmers that the attacks are racial and designed to drive them off the land.

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