South African Farm Attacks: This Is Real

(This is the source material for “Horrifying Farm Attacks Bring Terror to South Africa’s Boer in 2019”)

The following appeared on Facebook on November 1, 2019, along with two attached videos:

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A farmer, Anton Pitout (42) was attacked by a mob on his farm in Normandien, near Newcastle, in the mountain areas of the Drakensberg, Kwazulu Natal province on 31 October 2019.

He was very severely assaulted with knobkerries and other objects all over his body, head and face and was lucky to survive. This is the third attack he has endured in this year.

A farmer who came to his assistance was also assaulted. The attack comes on the back of a dispute with land affairs and locals over a 90 hectare portion of his farm that he offered to them so that he could continue his farming activities on the rest of the land.

And the police are refusing to assist in a case being opened pertaining to the ongoing intimidation of the farmer and this can be viewed in the video at the end of this article.The dispute is an ongoing struggle for Pitout who is suffering at the hands of indecisive actions of the local land affairs and getting no assistance from the authorities. The question is being asked, why must South African farmers who are providing food for the country continue to be attacked, murdered and tortured not getting any help from police or government?

(Note: This is a mob attack during daylight. This kind of thing happens, but the Farm Attacks are different – they are usually carefully-planned home invasions that occur at night, and are done by well-trained, well-equipped and well-organized attackers, not by a mob.)

The mob attack:

The aftermath with police:

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One woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, explained her family’s situation living on a farm in Gauteng Province:

“This community is being attacked every night. We sleep in shifts always with a gun in hand. When it turns dark evil comes out. They attack at multiple homesteads at a time. Minimum of 7 perpetrators. They are brutal in attacks. Hitting women with crowbars, slicing men with knives.”

As I draft this article, she messages me about another attack beginning near her home.

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The Farm Attack phenomenon began in South Africa in the early 1990’s. Arrangements were being made for all South Africans, regardless of race, to vote in general elections. The Apartheid issue was finally being settled peacefully – or so it seemed.

But not so for South Africa’s farming community. Known as Boer – the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer – South Africa’s farmers began to face attacks on their farms. Though over the years the attacks have come in various forms, they have generally been known for a high degree of sophistication and even military-style execution. The attackers possess military-grade weapons – occasionally including portable military-grade cell phone jammers to keep farmers from calling for help – and have been known to recover spent brass from their firearms, then hustle off silently to an exfiltration point, where they are recovered by waiting vehicles.

South Africa has an incredibly high crime rate, including a murder rate of 58 people per day (and with a population of roughly 58 million people, that means the 2019 murder rate is literally 1 in a million per day, making South Africa compare unfavorably to many war zones). But the Farm Attacks are something special: mainstream politicians, such as Julius Malema of the third largest political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, frequently make public comments covering for violence against farmers. And, while social media condemns other crime, including sexual assault (South Africa is also a rape capital, and there is a growing movement against gender-based violence), Farm Attacks often receive widespread approval in social media.

More to the point, though, is the excessive level of brutal violence inflicted on the victims. Farmers can generally expect no mercy from their attackers. After they have been overpowered, elderly, helpless farmers can expect to be tortured and to be forced to watch the torture of their loved ones. Violent gang-rape, even of elderly females, is common place. And, considering the high rate of HIV/AIDS in South Africa, a simple sexual assault may carry a death penalty for the victim. One story I heard was typical: a farmer was forced to watch as boiling water was poured over his wife repeatedly. Taking the farmer’s tools and drilling the farmer in the temple or the knee cap is not uncommon.

When I first heard of the Farm Attacks, I was very skeptical. Surely, there cannot be an atrocity of such magnitude unfolding in a nation at peace, a nation with such excellent commercial ties to the rest of the world. But, the more I looked into it, the more convinced I became that it was not only real, but understated – and definitely underreported.

Documentaries by Katie Hopkins and Lauren Southern addressed the situation in South Africa, with a focus on the Farm Attacks. I watched them, and heard the story of a child who was drowned in boiling water. This was the second time I had heard this story, but this time a few comments were offered by the people who had to clean the mess up. I was surprised to discover there is an entire crime scene clean-up industry in South Africa – perhaps I should not have been, but I was still new to the situation there. I was invited on talk radio shows to discuss what I was learning about South Africa, and one time, as I mentioned the child who had been drowned in the boiling water, the host commented that he knew that family.

This is real.

A word of caution is in order, though: there is a great deal of deception regarding what is happening in South Africa. The ruling African National Congress turned toward communism when Nelson Mandela took charge. This happened as Nikita Khrushchev was consolidating power in the Soviet Union; previously, Josef Stalin was waging the Cold War in Europe (and in Korea), but Khrushchev wanted to take it to the Third World. It was under Mandela that the ANC turned from peaceful protests, and began terrorist attacks on the South African government. Anyone familiar with communists understands: they lie. Consequently, there is a major push via social media to discredit anyone who tells the truth about the Farm Attacks. One thing they do is circulate graphics that include scenes from horror movies. Too many people are undiscerning, and share this fake news. This, in turn, makes people doubt the truth.

His Excellency, President Mandela – I call him that not because I am fan of his (I am not), but out of respect for South Africa and for the office the late Nelson Mandela held – addressed the Farm Attacks after he assumed power as a result of the 1994 general election (which the ANC won, of course). President Mandela prioritized the Farm Attacks, and called for people especially in rural areas to join an auxiliary force, the Commando System. The Commando System was kind of like the US National Guard, kind of like French gendarmes: they had military training and kept military-grade weapons at home, and would defend South Africa in case of invasion. On a daily basis, however, they helped the police, by manning roadblocks for example. The Commando System meant that farms belonging to members had an intrinsic self-defense capability, and the community surrounding the farm could very quickly and effectively help the farmer in the case of a violent attack.

After President Mandela left office, though, the ruling ANC disbanded the Commando System due in part to its history stretching back into the Apartheid era, despite recommendations that this not be done until an effective replacement had been deployed. Moreover, the government not only deprioritized the Farm Attacks, but stopped keeping track of them as a separate crime category. This meant that, for many years, there were no official statistics on Farm Attacks – these crimes were aggregated in with other statistics on crime, so no one could see the extent of the problem.

On top of that, research, including that by Cristopher Gumbi (note spelling), strongly suggests that the attackers are not only often highly-organized, well-trained and well-equipped, but that they have at least some cover from South Africa’s officialdom, including from elements of South Africa’s security forces (such as the police).

This information, taken as a whole, suggests a pattern of conduct on the part of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress. And, the barbaric crimes targeting the Boer farmers meet many essential elements of the UN’s definition for genocide.

But, of course, there is so much more… and we haven’t yet gotten to the heroin, have we?

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