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?

Общий Взгляд на Ситуацию в ЮАР

Положение в южноафриканской республике сложное и ухудшается.

Во-первых Южная Африка является транзитным пунктом для героина, производимого в Афганистане. Героин идет на юг от Афганистана до побережья Индийского океана, а затем по морю перемещается в Африку. Из-за усиления патрулирования дальше по побережью героин теперь уходит дальше на юг, а затем выходит на берег в Африке. Часто героин в настоящее время поступает на берег в Мозамбике. Оттуда он идет по суше, часто в Зимбабве, а затем в Южную Африку.

В Южной Африке его часто упаковывают в контейнерные грузы и загружают на коммерческие суда. Благодаря отличным торговым связям Южной Африки с остальным миром, афганский героин может быть отправлен оттуда в Европу, Северную Америку или Восточную Азию и Тихоокеанский регион. А поскольку Южная Африка не является страной-производителем героина, грузы оттуда часто не проверяют на наркотики.

Превосходная транспортная инфраструктура Южной Африки и относительно неохраняемые границы способствуют контрабанде. Кроме того, отличная финансовая инфраструктура Южной Африки и коррумпированное правительство облегчают отмывание денег.

Увеличенное присутствие героина в Южной Африке из-за контрабанды означает, что он там более доступен по более низкой цене. Следовательно, использование смеси наркотиков на основе героина стало широко распространенным, особенно с учетом высокого уровня безработицы, который достигает до 50 процентов молодежи.

Южная Африка уже была столицей убийств и изнасилований. Но теперь местные банды пытаются контролировать продажу героина, а международные организации, занимающиеся незаконным оборотом наркотиков, борются за контроль над движением наркотиков. Это сделало многие юрисдикции в Южной Африке более опасными, чем зоны военных действий.

Как будто этого было недостаточно, Южная Африка также является ключевым местом для контрабанды оружия и экзотических животных. Помимо всего этого, Южная Африка в настоящее время играет растущую роль в торговле людьми и кокаине.

Во-вторых столкнувшись со всеми преступлениями, южноафриканская полицейская служба находится в обороне. У полиции Южной Африки уровень насильственной смертности в несколько раз выше, чем у их американских коллег. Более того, уровень их самоубийств в 70 раз выше, чем в среднем по Южной Африке.

Полиции Южной Африки пришлось использовать частную охрану для защиты полицейских участков. Это было объяснено как освобождение сотрудников полиции для патрулирования, но это удивляет. В некоторых изолированных полицейских участках нет персонала во время темноты – не из-за проблем с бюджетом или рабочей силой, но потому что полиция не может защитить себя там. Если даже полиция в основном играет в защиту, что люди делают?

Во-третьих правительство во главе с Африканским Национальным Конгрессом некомпетентно и коррумпировано. АНК обратился к коммунизму в конце 1950-х годов и обратился к преступной деятельности, находясь в изгнании в 1980-х годах. Находясь у власти со времени окончания апартеида, АНК продвигает социалистические программы, которые разрушают то, что когда-то было экономикой Первого мира. АНК также разграбляет страну из-за масштабной коррупции, которая называется «захват государства».

Чтобы отвлечь внимание от этого, АНК продолжает обвинять Апартеид, хотя у АНК было 25 лет возможности исправить проблемы той эпохи – проблемы, которые стали хуже. АНК обвиняет белых южноафриканцев и ввел ряд законов, дискриминирующих их. В то время как все южноафриканцы должны работать вместе, чтобы строить экономику, коррумпированный АНК предпочитает воровать у южноафриканского народа и демонизировать белых.

Большинство южноафриканцев хотят мирно ладить друг с другом и строить «Радужную нацию». Но из-за всех преступлений и к тому же расистской пропаганды – пропаганды от АНК и от еще более воинственных и радикальных «Борцов за экономическую свободу» (EFF) – добрые люди Южной Африки потеряли контроль над своими общинами.

В-четвёртых в этом контексте мы рассматриваем геноцидное и ксенофобское насилие, особенно «нападения на фермы».

Южная Африка периодически страдает от ксенофобского насилия. Даже сейчас водители грузовиков вдоль основных автомагистралей подвергаются нападениям со стороны преступников, которые пытаются убить иностранцев, которые, как считается, устраиваются на работу у южноафриканцев. Главная магистраль N3, которая связывает важный порт Дурбан с основным городским районом вокруг Йоханнесбурга, теперь ночью практически непроходима. Другие крупные автомагистрали, такие как N1, связывающая Кейптаун с Йоханнесбургом, и N3, которая проходит вдоль побережья и соединяет порты, также находятся под угрозой.

Хуже этого, как в чрезмерном насилии, так и в последствиях для экономики, являются нападения на фермы. Достаточно сказать, что белые южноафриканские фермеры имеют самую опасную работу в мире, гораздо более опасную, чем работа южноафриканского полицейского или даже солдата, сражающегося в Сирии.

В течение десятилетий хорошо спланированные террористические акты на фермах в Южной Африке привели к тому, что как пожилые, так и очень молодые люди подвергались изнасилованиям и пыткам в течение нескольких часов – даже после того, как они перестали сопротивляться и передали свои ценности нападающим. И часто то, что они имели, стоило менее 50 долларов США. Часто злоумышленники хорошо вооружены, хорошо оснащены (даже имеют станции помех против сотовых телефонов), хорошо обучены и не боятся, что полиция может вмешаться.

Планирования в течение дней, уголовных пыток в течение часов – всё это за 50 долларов? Тот факт, что злоумышленники так мало боятся полиции вместе с их обучением и оборудованием, наводит на мысль о спонсируемых правительством военизированных формированиях или связях с организованной преступностью. Но организованная преступность хотела бы получить прибыль – и 50 долларов не станут покрывать расходы на атаки.

После национальных выборов в мае беззаконие в Южной Африке резко возросло. Теперь, в дополнение к запланированным атакам на фермах, есть много менее сложных атак. Риторика основных политических деятелей и даже посла Южной Африки в Дании и дочери Нельсона Манделы, именующих белых «поселенцами» и «ворами земли», делегитимизирует белых как граждан Южной Африки и выполняет одно из условий ООН для геноцида.

Насилие на расовой и ксенофобной основе угрожает приостановить большую экономическую активность, даже если это приведет к росту цен на продовольствие (из-за затрат, которые фермеры платят за свою защиту) и снижению продовольственной безопасности – в направлении голода.

    Итак, для общей картины:

Южная Африка имеет вторую по величине и наиболее развитую экономику в Африке. Это важный источник большого количества минералов, необходимых для современной промышленности. И он расположен на критических морских путях как ключевой перевалочный пункт, соединяющий Африку с миром и отдаленные части мира друг с другом.

Южная Африка также имеет наибольшее население в южноафриканском регионе. Южная Африка окружает Лесото; Мозамбик и Южная Африка вместе окружают Эсватини (ранее Свазиленд). Обе эти страны сильно зависят от того, что происходит в Южной Африке. Мозамбик сталкивается с политической нестабильностью и исламским мятежом, а также с торговлей наркотиками. Дальше по побережье Танзания, Кения и Сомали есть проблемы с незаконным оборотом наркотиков, исламскими повстанцами и другими проблемами. Вдали от побережья экономика Зимбабве находится в руинах, главным образом потому, что она проводила ту же политику, которую сейчас пытается осуществить АНК Южной Африки. Только Ботсвана (не имеющая выхода к морю и союзник США) и Намибия (на атлантическом побережье) дают надежду в регионе со степенью верховенства закона и стабильным экономическим развитием.

Когда Южная Африка превратится в голод, геноцид и ксенофобское насилие – не если, но когда – Зимбабве и страны вдоль побережья Индийского океана будут падать, как домино. Ботсване и Намибии понадобятся стабилизирующие силы под руководством США, чтобы хаос не затопил эти две страны.

Когда Южная Африка переходит из гангстерского государства в неудавшееся государство торговцев наркотиками, это будет дестабилизировать треть Африки, и последствия будут ощущаться во всем мире.

Farm Attacks in South Africa

This issue about violence against farmers in South Africa has finally bubbled up to get a little media attention, though at first I heard about it through talk radio shows a couple of years ago. Earlier this week, I decided to look into it a little bit; the story I have found is very consistent.

To introduce this topic, I begin with an article called ‘Bury them alive!’: White South Africans fear for their future as horrific farm attacks escalate, from March 25, 2017, by Frank Chung. The article carries this warning: NEARLY every day, horrific acts of rape, torture and murder are carried out on a community under siege. WARNING: Graphic.

The headline tells the story nicely. The article opens with a description of an attack on a farming couple – it is indeed graphic, and includes photos! – then gives some background to the situation. Toward the middle of the article we get to what I think is the key point:

While sometimes farmers and their families are tortured to obtain information, such as the whereabouts of keys to the safe, human rights groups say the excessive brutality may be intended to send a message to the general farming community — get out of our country.

Victims are often restrained, harmed with weapons such as machetes and pitchforks, burned with boiling water or hot irons, dragged behind vehicles and shot. Female victims are often raped during attacks.

Another article appearing in an American journal, Tri-State Livestock News, summarizes the situation. This excerpt is from Leaving home: Some South African farmers exiting the country to avoid brutality by Rebecca Colnar, May 30, 2018:

Farmers in South Africa are becoming increasingly worried about the safety of their farms, their families and themselves. Farmers have been tortured and murdered at high rates since early 2000s and a record of the atrocities was originally kept. However, starting in 2007, the record keeping of the incidents ceased when the government said it would no longer report the statistics on farm murders. However, recently numbers were again released which showed a disturbing increase in attacks in 2017-2018.

Farther down, we get to the real issue:

There seem to be limited statistics on the number of black vs. white farmers. Research indicates white farmers have been the victims of more attacks. The barbarity of the attacks is most disturbing.

“The worst of the matter is not the fact that South African farmers are being attacked and killed, but rather the disproportionate numbers that are involved, the extreme levels of brutality that often accompany these crimes, and the fact that the South African government has largely been in denial about the problem since 2007,” notes Lorraine Claassen of AfriForum, a civil rights organization operating in South Africa with particular focus on the promotion and protection of the rights of minority communities.

According to detailed report from AfriForum, the most common forms of physical torture are beatings, stabbings, burning victims with boiling water, molten plastic and hot clothing irons. It also includes instances of detainment against the victims’ will, and assaults on the sexual integrity of the person.

“Some farmers are even slaughtered like animals or dragged behind their own vehicles (they are tied to the vehicle with a rope and dragged for vast distances),” the report noted. Psychological torture during farm attacks includes belittling, threats, attempted and threatened assault and threats to other family members. The horror is the brutality of the crimes; it’s not simply a few hoodlums who break in and make off with jewelry, electronics and a vehicle.

These are not just murders or attacks; the violence increasingly has a militarized appearance according so some sources, and there seems to be a concerted effort to terrorize the rural farming community into leaving South Africa. And, judging by information in the first article (and elsewhere), it seems to be working; the number of white farmers in South Africa has dropped dramatically, and many South African farms are now up for sale as other farmers want to leave.

In a report (mentioned in both the articles above), The Reality of Farm Tortures in South Africa, from June 26, 2014, we hear about key aspects of the timeline regarding violence against farmers in South Africa. It seems that in the late 1990’s the government acknowledged that farmers are apparently being targeted in a unique manner in violent, murderous attacks. In the mid 2000’s, though, the government eliminated a rural policing militia program known as the “commando system” which, by that time, was primarily focused on the protection of the farming community. After that, farm attacks increased dramatically, but then the government decided to stop releasing statistics on farm attacks.

It is interesting to note that there had been concerns that the commando system mainly focused on the protection of white property owners. In 2001, a committee of inquiry considered testimony from victims and witnesses of farm attacks; as explained in Rural Safety and the Disbandment of the Commando Units in South Africa: A Challenge to Rural Communities and the African National Congress (ANC)?
by Chitja Twala and Marietjie Oelofse (from 2013), despite these concerns, recommendations were to not disband the commando system until something else was set up:

In view of the above cases, the Institute for Security Studies Director J Cilliers cautioned against any plan to abolish commandos before effective alternatives was in place. He stated that the despite their criticisms, the commandos have traditionally been functioning as a blanket of support in rural safety. The President of Agri-South Africa (Agri-SA), J Grobler argued that the disbandment of the commandos would create problems in as far as rural safety was concerned. According to him, the commandos played a significant role in the rural safety plan. Addressing the media he stated: ‘In phasing them out, while experience has shown how difficult they are to replace, will be negative for safety and for the country. It’s the old story of hundreds of plans being hatched while crime continues unabated’ (The Citizen 15 February 2003).

Many farmers, and some representatives of agricultural unions, believed that the attacks were ‘explicitly racial or political’, and aimed at driving farmers off their land.

The situation in South Africa was referenced elsewhere in the mainstream media. For example, consider this excerpt from South Africa farm attacks on the rise – support groups, January 15, 2015:

South Africa generally suffers from high rates of violent crime, with the latest police data showing 32.2 murders per 100,000 people, close to eight times the U.S. rate.

[AfriForum’s deputy chief executive Ernst] Roets said based on an estimate that South Africa has close to 33,000 commercial farmers, the number meant that the murder ratio was 134 per 100,000, four times the national average.

Also, from Inside the ‘most dangerous job in the world’: White farmers in South Africa are FOUR times more likely to be murdered than anyone else – as Peter Dutton vows to ‘fast-track’ them into Australia as refugees, March 23, 2018:

White farmers in South Africa have the most dangerous job in the country, are twice as likely to be murdered than police and are killed at four times the rate of the wider community, a rights group claims.

This week, as the government moves to seize all white-owned land without compensation, civil rights organisation AfriForum claimed there had been 109 attacks which left 15 white farm workers dead so far this year.

This follows 82 killings and 423 attacks in 2016, though none of the figures can be verified because the South African government has refused to release farm murder statistics since 2007.

Some of the killings are reported to have been barbaric, with farm owners tortured, raped, burned alive and slaughtered in front of their families.

‘Some of the murders have been accompanied by gratuitous violence and torture that can only be explained as racial hatred,’ Australian National University international law expert Associate Professor Jolyon Ford told SBS.

It is interesting, though, that since the government, led by the African National Congress (website, Wikipedia), had decided to stop releasing official statistics on these crimes, nearly all the evidence available has had to come from the same few non-governmental sources in South Africa.

That is not to say that the government has not been aware of this, though. In a meeting of the South African Parliament National Assembly’s Police Portfolio Committee, subject Rural Safety Plan: SAPS, African Farmers Association, SA Human Rights Commission briefings from August 26, 2016, we see this referencing attacks on and especially murders of farmers:

The killings were clearly a matter of human rights and the rights of farmers, farm workers and the farming community in general. When one observes the brutality of the killings, it is clear that there is no respect for life, and that perpetrators operate with impunity. The criminal justice system did not appear to provide a deterrent.

They know their judicial system is not working, and they know it is hitting rural areas particularly hard. They also know that, while everyone in these rural areas is in danger, it is particularly South Africans of European descent who are being not just brutally attacked, but terrorized as a community.

And they know this has been going on for more than two decades, with a noteworthy resurgence at about the time the South African government 1) disbanded the rural policing militia and 2) stopped publishing statistics on these crimes.

Of course, that white farmers are being driven by this wave of brutal crime off the very lands that the ANC-led government seeks to seize and “redistribute” is interesting, too.

It is the responsibility of any government to protect its people against crime. When farmers in South Africa are four times as likely to be killed by criminals than anyone else, and when the government is essentially doing nothing about it, that means that the government of South Africa is, at a minimum, criminally negligent under international law.

The fact that the farming families being victimized are predominantly of European descent, and are being driven off their land, in the face of government inaction, suggests that the government is complicit in ethnic cleansing.

Stories I have come across of the frequent involvement of foreigners in these attacks, and of the occasional situation wherein South African Police encounter and identify perpetrators but do not take them into custody, are also interesting.

Back in the day, the ANC had a military wing called Umkhonto we Sizwe that conducted terrorist attacks. It was supported by the Soviet Union, with Cuban proxies militarily involved through Angola; it conducted bombings, and even placed mines in rural areas that killed all – black, white, male, female, adult, child – indiscriminately.

Withdrawal of police protection to make the communities vulnerable, a cessation of publishing statistics to keep crimes quiet, then a spike in attacks on farms with barbaric violence far above and beyond anything necessary for a simple robbery or rape…

“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt