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Beleaguered white SA farmers ask for state protection

4 Dec 2012 14:33
In the wake of hundreds of attacks and murders, a group of activists and farmers marched to Pretoria over the weekend to demand the state protect them and their property, International Business Times reports. Represented by farmers associations AfriForum and Solidarity - the beleaguered farmers asked Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to declare such assaults "crimes of priority."
SAPS figures show the country's overall murder rate stood at 51 per 100,000, while farmers' murders stood at 99 per 100,000.

The farmers said that farm murders are marked by extreme brutality. Therefore, the argument that farm murders are 'only murder' does not hold water." In a statement, AfriForum Deputy CEO Ernst Roets blamed the ruling ANC party and the South African Police Service (SAPS) of ignoring the plight of rural white farmers who are increasingly vulnerable to violence perpetrated by dispossessed blacks almost two decades after the fall of apartheid. "Farm murders are not only a crisis," Roets said, "They are a catastrophe."

One of the protesters, Susan Nortje told the Daily Telegraph: "If you kill a rhinoceros in South Africa, you get more time in jail than if you kill a person. I don't think people understand. We must show people what's really happening." Andre Botha of farmers' union Agri SA pointed out attacks on farmers stem from poverty, not politics or race. White farmers are especially targeted because they are viewed by impoverished rural blacks as having wealth, International Business Times says.

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