Over 1000 Boer Farmers In South Africa Have Been Murdered Since 1991
Copyright 2002 Genocide Watch
This Genocide Watch is to raise an alert concerning the number of Boer farmers slain since the end of apartheid in South Africa. The threat of destruction of a group must not be ignored because its numbers are small or its members disfavoured because they have acted in discriminatory ways in the past. A critical factor in this analysis is the total remaining number of Boer farmers. The total number of ethno-European farmers in South Africa has been estimated at approximately 40,000 to 45,000. The majority of ethno-European farmers are Boers. In world context, this may seem to be a small number of people. But such absolute numbers are biased against recognition of threats to the survival of minorities. The smaller the minority the more severe this bias.
It may indeed be possible to exterminate a specific group over an extended period of time while the absolute number killed each year decreases, paradoxically creating a false impression of a diminishing annihilation – decreasing in annual numbers but resulting in undetected genocide. Pogroms against Jews in Europe diminished after the Enlightenment but prior to the Holocaust, and massacres of Tutsis slowed in Rwanda before 1990. The slow decimation of the Ache in Paraguay and of other native American groups in Brazil, while set in quite different historic and cultural contexts, present disturbing parallels.
The agricultural department of a bank in South Africa has calculated the per capita murder rate of ethno-European farmers to be four (4) times greater than the average murder rate for the population of South Africa. This comparative trend analysis of murder rates for specific ethnic groups is troubling. If the per capita murder rate of the population as a whole has decreased over recent years as the South African government claims, but at the same time the per capita murder rate of a specific group (in this case Boer farmers) has increased, it is reason for alarm.
This Genocide Watch will present evidence of the increasing murder rate against Boer farmers. Additional issues of concern that remain to be further developed are the possible manipulation of farm murder statistics following a temporary moratorium on the release of crime data by the government, government regulation of the national internet domain, and the President’s release of farm murderers from jail.
Questions, Answers and References
Question 1: How many ethno-European farmers were killed in 2001?
Answer 1: The following article indicates that more than 900 farmers were attacked and 140 farmers murdered.
Reference: DA slams ANC’s ‘double-speak’, June 16, 2002, by Sapa, URL: http://www.news24.com/contentDisplay/level4Article/0,1113,2_1200356,00.html
Question 2: How many Boer farmers were murdered from 1991 to 2001?
Answer 2: The following article indicates that from 1991 to 2001, more than 1,000 people, mostly commercial farmers, had been murdered in 5,594 attacks on farms in South Africa.
Reference: 1000 killed in farm attacks, August 7, 2001, by Sapa, URL:
Most of the ethno-European commercial farmers were Boers, and also most of the victims of farm murders were Boers. On the basis of this information the per capita murder rate against ethno-European farmers in South Africa was (140/45,000 * 100,000=) 311 per 100,000 in 2001. On the basis of these figures, by 2001 (1,000/45,000*100=) 2.2 percent of ethno-European farmers had already been murdered and more than (5,594/45,000*100=) 12 percent of these farmers had been attacked on their farms.
Other related references: 1997 - 2002
(1) Old MacDonald gets a bullet. A suppressed intelligence report shows politics mixed up with farm killings. Politics Commentary, Finance Week, August 27-September 02, 1998.
Article (1) indicates that from 1994 to 1998, more than 500 farmers had been murdered in South Africa and asserts clandestine political involvement with farm murders.
(2) Kill the Boer, Kill the farmer. What was once a distasteful political slogan has become a frightening reality, by Ted Keenan, Finance Week, August 27-September 02, 1998.
Article (2) decries the “kill the Boer, kill the farmer” slogan, which has continued to be used in hate speeches up to the present. (The slogan was, however, publicly condemned by President Mbeki in 2002.)
(3) Farms become ‘the killing fields’ in Natal (translated), by Andriette Stofberg in Beeld, December 13, 1997, page 11.
Article (3) provides a shocking account of the brutality against farmers in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. In one area three (3) farmers were murdered within one month. In an incident at Paulpietersburg on October 5, 1997, Mrs. Viviane Gevers (60) was shot execution style while kneeling in prayer outside church after a church service. In another incident on a farm in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands the Freese family was attacked in their beds in the early hours of a March Sunday morning in 1997. The little girls aged four (4) and ten (10) were assaulted with baseball bats along with their parents and strangled in an attempt to murder them. Children’s eyes were beaten from their skull sockets; the parents sustained brain damage. Mrs. Cadle tells how her husband was shot in front of her and that her attackers made racist remarks. Another attack on the Niebuhr family one Sunday evening on a farm in the Paulpietersburg area is also described. The common thread throughout every account of these farm attacks is the brutality against the farmers, their wives and children. It is asserted that the primary motivation is not robbery, but instead it is torture and murder.
(4) Stats show crime increasing year-on-year, by Mpumzi Zuzile, September 8, 2001, URL: http://www.dispatch.co.za
Article (4) reports on a Nedbank ISS Crime Index for July and reveals “…that attacks on farms and smallholdings are defined as acts aimed against the person, whether with the intent to murder, rob, rape or inflict bodily harm.” (paragraph 3). Also, from 1997 to 2000 there were about 2,917 attacks on farms and smallholdings; about 512 farmers were killed.
(5) Farm-attack claims two: Man shoots mother and daughters (translated), by Danie Toerien of Beeld newspaper, October 16, 2001, URL: http://220.127.116.11/cgi/nph-bwcgis/BEELD2/beeld2/alg/storie/DDW?W%3DTEKS%20PH%20WORDS%20%27lynette%20jooste%27%26M%3D12%26K%3D278975%26R%3DY%26U%3D1
Article (5) reports on the murder of a mother, Lynette Jooste, and her daughter, Ilse (age 14) in their farm house. The second daughter, Yolande (age 16) was shot several times. It is unknown if she survived the subsequent surgery.
(6) Farm killers ‘hid’ body, by Liela Magnus, January 7, 2002, URL: http://www.news24.com.
Article (6) provides an account of the murder of Mrs. Susan van den Heever (age 72) after she was tied up and could have posed no threat to the assailants. She was shot to death with an AK47 automatic assault rifle.
(7) ‘I heard her screams’, by Nicolize Mulder, February 13, 2002, URL: http://www.news24.com.
Article (7) describes the torture of the farm couple Salie Nortje (age 67) and Ria Nortje (age 54) before they were murdered. They were torched alive.
(8) Robber gang’s victims now in custody (translated), by De Wet Potgieter of Rapport newspaper, February 9, 2002, URL: http://18.104.22.168/cgi/nph-bwcgis/RAPPORT/rapport/alg/storie/DDW?W%3DOPSKRIF%20PH%20IS%20%27bende%20rowers%20se%20slagoffers%20nou%20in%20hegtenis%27%26M%3D1%26K%3D398591%26R%3DY%26U%3D1
Article (8) reports that the Cohen’s were informed by police of their impending arrest while visiting their mother in hospital after she sustained injuries in a farm attack in which firearms were used against them. The charges were brought against them by two of the six attackers that they apprehended.
Articles (9) to (14) give accounts of incidents of abduction from farms, execution style murders, and the ordeals of kidnapped children from farms.
(9) Farm murder suspects cheered, by Marelize Stiemie, March 28, 2001, URL: http://www.news24.com/contentDisplay/level4Article/0,1113,2_1003034,00.html
(10) SA farmers under siege, by Sapa, March 28, 2001, URL: http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/0,1113,2-7_1002894,00.html
(11) ‘Murder suspect was released’, by Sam Mkokeli and Percy Callaghan, March 27, 2001, URL: http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/EasternCape/0,1113,2-7-836_1002343,00.html
(12) Girl’s night of terror after grandparents’ murder, by Die Burger, March 26, 2001, URL: http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/EasternCape/0,1113,2-7-836_1001893,00.html
(13) Farm attack suspects nabbed, by Sapa, January 16, 2002, URL: http://www.news24.com/contentDisplay/level4Article/0,1113,2_1131650,00.html
(14) Double murder baffles cops, by Rapport, June 03, 2001, URL: http://www.news24.com/contentDisplay/level4Article/0,1113,2-7-836_1033986,00.html
(15) Farm attacks and the African Renaissance: Opposite reactions to a devastating European culture, by C.J. Moolman (Criminologist), URL: http://www.100megspop2.com/crimebusters/FarmMurders.html.
Reference (15) is a study of farm attacks by a criminologist.
(16) Mbeki’s secret amnesty list revealed, by Denver Donian and Louise Flanagan, Independent Online, May 13, 2002, http://www.iol.co.za.
(17) Cronyism at its most obscene, by Robert Kirby, Mail and Guardian Online, May 23, 2002, http://www.mg.co.za.
Articles (16) and (17) give journalistic commentary on recent political developments in South Africa with some reference to the government’s conduct regarding farm murderers.
A Netherlands based website provides extensive information on the murder of farmers in South Africa. It also provides a list of known individuals of all ethnicities murdered on South African farms. This community of journalists gives a comprehensive critique of the South African situation and their focus on agricultural matters makes them the most authoritative source for information on atrocities committed against South African farmers. They may be accessed on the internet at www.censorbugbear.com.
Genocide Watch calls attention to this potential threat of destruction of an ethnic group, which has reached at least level four, Organization, and probably level five, Polarization, in Genocide Watch’s stages of the genocidal process. We call upon South African government and civil society, especially human rights, legal, and religious groups, to resolutely and vocally oppose those who advocate hatred against Boer farmers. Those who have committed these murders must be brought to justice.