There were several unsettling incidents of farm attacks reported across South Africa during the weekend, as the peace of a long Easter break for numerous rural communities was shattered. Groups of thugs took aim against landowners, showing no leniency towards their victims.
Farm attacks: Free State man murdered
It’s been confirmed by authorities in the Free State that Janus Powell was shot dead by robbers in the Hoopstad / Bloemhof district of the province. He was killed during a confrontation with his attacker, who thankfully did not go after his wife and four-year-old son.
This comes only days after the DA protested in Bloemfontein, calling again for rural safety units. The opposition party are keen to implement some form of policy that protects farmers from these harrowing attacks. Patricia Kopane is a premier candidate for the DA in Free State, and shared her condolences with the rest of the Powell family:
“We need real change that will value the lives of all South Africans and who will act immediately to stop all murders. Under a DA provincial government, a rural safety unit for the Free State will be established without further delay. We send our heartfelt condolences to Janus Powell’s wife, Anemi, their four-year-old son and his parents, Antoon and Tharina.”
Several farm attacks reported during Easter
There have also been several other incidents which have surfaced this weekend, including a spate of robberies in the Eastern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga. One victim on a farm near Port Elizabeth was “stabbed in the face” during his altercation with the criminals
Ian Cameron is the Head of AfriForum’s Community Safety Unit, and he reported that an elderly woman had been raped during a farm attack in the Cape:
FARM ATTACK 19/04/19: Redelinghuys, Western Cape. One 72year old female victim raped. Several knife wounds on hands and neck as she tried to fight off the perp. 1 suspect has been arrested. Victim in hospital now. pic.twitter.com/UsxD96DECP
— Ian Cameron (@IanCameron23) April 21, 2019
Rural safety units
These latest developments will only add fuel to the fire for the DA’s push to introduce rural farm safety units – a measure they vowed to undertake at a national level in their manifesto, should they win the 2019 Elections.
Kopane even handed over a memorandum to the Free State police commissioner Lt. Gen. Afonso last week, demanding that landowners in isolated communities are afforded more protection from these heinous crimes.