The murder rate of the whole South African population remains at over 31 per 100 000. The murder rate of farmers, including Afrikaner farmers, is four times as high. The Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU SA), using verified names of victims, placed the figure at 130 per 100 000, one of the highest murder rates in the world.
The reality is that farmers in South Africa are being attacked and killed in complete disproportionate numbers, and that these farm attacks are committed in a very brutal fashion.
Farmers need to become part of the rural safety plan in their respective areas through local agricultural unions. This way, they will have access to necessary information being disseminated at all levels by police and farmers with regard to criminal activities. Secondly, farmers need to assess the security of their residences and environment to ensure they have adequate security measures and contingency plans in place.
Below are a list of security related questions:
- Are your burglar bars and security gates still effective?
- Are your security lights and alarm system still effective?
- Is your fence still capable of preventing access?
- Do you have guard dogs and are they still effective?
- Do you have alternative means of emergency communication and can you reach your neighbors and police with it?
- Do you have contingency plans and are they still up to date?
- When last did you, your family, and workers practice your emergency plan?
- Do you have a plan if your lights are tripped/ water is turned off/ a fire is set on your property to draw you out of the house?
- Do you have an early waring system that lets you know when strangers arrive on the farm? Is it still effective?
- Do your workers have a positive attitude to you and your family? Has its changed?
- Do your workers report if strangers come onto the farm, or if they notice something strange?
- Is your workers attitude and demeanor such that they will protect your family when you are away?
- Are your employees able to protect themselves?
- Are your employees informed and trained to help you, or to go for help if you are attacked?
- Do you keep copies of your workers ID and face pics ? Are they stored in a safe place that can be accessed in an emergency?
- Have you done a background check on your workers?
- Do you still practice different methods to ensure you are not attacked when returning home from church or town? Do your dogs great you at the gate when you come home?
- Does each person on the farm know what to do if there is an emergency? (Do you have an emergency plan?)
- Do you keep your security gates closed during the day?
- Are you prepared for an attack when stopping to open farm gates?
- Do you carry a firearm ?
- Do you have quick access to your firearms?
- Do you know what to do if someone gets your firearm and wants to use it against you?
- Can your family support you if you are attacked, are they prepared to resist an attack?
- Have you considered getting a bullet resistant vest in case you respond to an emergency?
- Do members of your family have first aid training and is there a stocked medical bag on the farm?
- Will you notice if your phone lines have been cut?
- Do your family members know when and how to use a firearm?
- Do you let your neighbors know if you are going to be away for a while and will they check up on your place?
- Do you keep regular contact with your neighbors and do regular safety checks on each other? Say when returning from church etc.
- Do you have a vehicle available that can be used to respond in an emergency?
- Do you practice key controls and are they keys available to all family members in case of an emergency?
- Do you keep note of strangers coming onto the farm? Do you ever take a picture of their vehicle or get their registration numbers?
- Do you treat strangers that come onto your farm as potentially armed? Are you careful enough?
- Do you have a method of turning away people claiming to want to buy something or look for a job?
- Do you still swop suggestions and ideas with your neighbors on how to increase security and safety structures?
- Are you still an active members of your local security structures?
- Do you still use the opportunity to liaise with the Community Police Forum and Agricultural Unions to increase your families security and property?
[Drawn up by Chrisjan du Preez for Stop Misdaad SA – SMSA] (Translated and slightly adjusted)
South Africa Today – South Africa News