The debate around farm murders continues to be a heated one, following a spate of three farm murders in the Cape recently.
One of the most contested issues is how to accurately tally up the numbers of farm murders.
Johan Burger, an independent policing expert, says that this is because no knows for certain how many people are on farms and small holdings. He adds that he has to work with is a baseline curated by known data on commercial farmers.
Our problem is that we don't have an authoritative figure for all people on farms and small holdings.— Johan Burger, Independent Policing Expert
He adds that there are more black farm workers being killed, which could be representative of the demographics on farms.
Burger says that just because, demographically there are more white farmers, it does not mean that black farmers are not being killed. The main take away for this is that farm murders are not about race, according to Burger.
It is true that, if you look at just farmers, it is still mostly white farmers who get attacked. But that does not mean that black farmers and black workers are not killed.— Johan Burger, Independent Policing Expert
In fact, far more black workers are killed on farms during these attacks, by people coming from outside of those farms than white workers. In some years, there are no white workers killed.— Johan Burger, Independent Policing Expert
Burger says that the perceptions that farm attacks are racially charged is because most farmers and their families are white while most attackers are black, but this is not accurate.
Listen to the full interview below:
Kate Wilkinson, Africa Check senior researcher and Ernst Roets the deputy CEO of Afri-forum agree that the lack of accurate data and definitions on Farm attacks poses a major problem in understanding what is happening.
When it comes to whether farm attacks are racially motivated, Roets says it is an it isn't. This is because there are clear cut attacks where the motives where racially charged, but it would be inaccurate to blanket this motive for all farm attacks.
Listen to their right of reply below: