Farmers in South Africa are facing the threat of farm attacks on a daily basis. Although the latest figures are shocking, as is the case every year, government is still refusing to handle farm attacks and farm murders as priority crimes. AfriForum will drive an expanded campaign against farm murders in 2021 which will include awareness, safety, prevention and support initiatives on local, national and international levels.
AfriForum will continue to focus attention on the issue of farm murders, both nationally and internationally. The organisation will also use its position as non-governmental organisation with special advisory status at the UN to submit various written and even verbal presentations about the gruesome truth of farm attacks in South Africa and how the South African government is complicit to the crisis.
Since we cannot rely on the government to safeguard farms, AfriForum has put the following three strategies in place to improve farming communities’ vigilance against farm attacks:
- SAFEGUARDING FARMS
AfriForum’s local safety structures aim to empower communities and safeguard people living on farms in order for these communities to live free, safe and prosperous lives.
AfriForum, in cooperation with Saai, offers the following to help safeguard farms:
Safety assessment of farmsteads
With the help of a farm assessment tool, AfriForum does an assessment of the farm house and other existing physical proactive protection measures, aimed at preventing incidents where the lives and property of people on farms could be jeopardised. These assessments empower us to offer the necessary advice to farm residents in order to optimally safeguard their farms.
Training in basic first aid
AfriForum offers practical training in essential basic first-aid, which includes scene assessment, general safety, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), controlling bleeding and how to apply splints to limbs.
Farm residents receive training in basic weapon handling of their own firearms, as well as training on the requirements of safe firearm use; after which they get to practice practical firing techniques. Legal professionals explain the principles of self-defence, with the emphasis on principles of minimum force and self-defence.
Supplying analogue radio systems and radio training
AfriForum supplies two-way radios as emergency communication to farm residents. We also give training in radio use and the correct speech procedure during radio use.
AfriForum creates the opportunity for our members and the broader community to form part of this campaign and to assist in safeguarding our farms by making a donation at Beveilig ’n plaas / Safeguard a farm by AfriForum NPC | GivenGain.
- VICTIM SUPPORT
AfriForum’s Trauma Unit offers physical and emotional assistance at farm murder scenes. This includes counselling for the surviving victims and a thorough safety assessment of the farm.
The unit assists farm attack victims by coordinating the cleaning of the scene; helping with purchasing immediate household necessities: offering help with the replacement of bedding if it is stained after the attack; and arranging accommodation with family or friends if necessary.
The Trauma Unit plays an important role, by accompanying victims during identification parades, offering physical and emotional assistance during court proceedings and ensuring that police officers treat victims fairly and that victims’ rights are protected at all times.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is set to intervene should support be required regarding a farm murder investigation. This is sometimes necessary where there is little or no progress on a case or where there is mistrust in the investigational abilities of the police.
The unit will also accept a vigilance order in a far murder case on behalf of the complainant and attend the court proceedings to ensure that justice will be done.
Should someone not be prosecuted due to political reasons, the unit will institute private prosecution since nobody is above the law.
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