Eight farm murders in six weeks

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The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) recorded eight farm murders in the six week period following a court ruling that the “kill the boer” song was not hate speech.

Describing the killings as “a wave” party leader Pieter Groenewald said he is “convinced inflammatory statements and songs do incite murder. There is also no doubt the ‘boer’ referred to in the song means white people”.

Farmers, according to him, have been “massacred for decades” with government refusing to declare farm attacks and murders a priority crime, notwithstanding “constant pressure” from the FF+ as well as organised agriculture in the form of AgriSA and the TLU (Transvaal Landbou Unie).

Naming 53-year-old Etienne du Toit from Sterkspruit near Nelspruit, killed on 29 September, Groenewald said he was “bludgeoned to death” while working with water pumping equipment.

He pointed out the ruling by Equality Court judge Edwin Molahlehi there was “insufficient evidence” to prove singing the song was hate speech was effectively not so. This, because the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRA) ruled it to be hate speech in 2000 at the request of the FF+.

Official SA Police Service crime figures have it 22 people were murdered in farm attacks in the first half of the year – 12 in the first three months and 10 in the second.

“Eight killings since 26 August is a sharp increase,” Groenewald said.