South African Farmers Fearing for Their Lives

Erin Conway, Telegraph (London), December 1, 2012

On Saturday, in an unprecedented move to mark the second anniversary of the slaughter of a farming family, survivors of farm attacks marched in Pretoria and called for attacks on South Africa’s mostly white farmers to be designated a crime of national priority.

Since the attack on Attie Potgieter and his family, the simple stone farmhouse where they lived has stood empty and crumbling, with nobody wanting to live in the home where one of South Africa’s most disturbingly brutal crimes took place.

Mr Potgieter, a farm caretaker, was stabbed and hacked 151 times with a garden fork, a knife and a machete near Lindley in the Free State—the agricultural heart of the country.

His wife, Wilna, and two-year-old daughter, Willemien, were both made to watch him die, before being shot in the head, execution style.

All for pocket money, and possessions of relatively little value—a too-common story in South Africa’s rural areas, where mostly white Afrikaner farmers feel they are being targeted in gratuitously violent attacks on their remote farms and smallholdings. They accuse police and government of failing to make these crimes a priority. And as the horrifying murders continue, they are growing increasingly angry.

“If you kill a rhinoceros in South Africa, you get more time in jail then if you kill a person,” said Susan Nortje, 26, Mrs Potgieter’s younger sister. “I don’t think people understand. We must show people what’s really happening.”

The murder last weekend of British engineer Chris Preece, 54, who was born in Southgate in north London and found his dream on a piece of rolling farmland bordering Lesotho’s Maluti mountains, is the most recent farm killing to make headlines.

Mr Preece spent his weekdays working in Johannesburg before retreating to his beloved farm near the town of Ficksburg, where he and wife Felicity dreamed of starting a nature reserve to save raptor birds and cheetahs.

He was stabbed and hacked to death by men who stole just £210 and a mobile phone. Felicity was left severely traumatised with a skull fracture, and has not yet been able to talk about the attack from the Bloemfontein hospital in where she is being treated.

The couple’s son, Robert Preece, and his wife, Jeanne, are now considering leaving their native South Africa, because they don’t want to raise children in a country “where a man can be hacked to death for no reason”.

“This isn’t something we’re going to get over,” Jeanne Preece, 29, toldThe Sunday Telegraph. “It is a bottomless weight in all our souls.”

On Saturday, in an unprecedented move to mark the second anniversary of the slaughter of the Potgieters, families of murdered farmers and survivors of farm attacks marched in the capital Pretoria and called for attacks on South Africa’s mostly white farmers to be designated a crime of national priority.

Carrying photos of dead relatives and friends, 200 protesters—many wearing the khaki shorts and short-sleeved shirts that are the unofficial uniform of white South African farmers—sought to deliver a memorandum to the country’s police minister, Nathi Mthethwa, urging that farm attacks be given the same elevated police attention already accorded to rhinoceros poaching and copper cable theft.

“These murders are marked by a unique level of brutality—often worse than that found in terrorist attacks,” the memorandum said. “The argument that farm murders are ‘only murder’ does not hold water.”

South African police stopped releasing separate figures on farm attacks in 2007, and incorporated them into wider violent crime statistics.

But according to the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa, there have been 2,863 farm attacks and 1,592 farm murders since 1990, and independent think-tanks put the true number of farmers murdered at closer to 3,000.

It is now twice as dangerous to be a farmer as it is to be a police officer in South Africa, according to Johan Burger, a senior researcher with the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies’ crime and justice programme. Last year the country had a murder rate of 31.9 per 100,000 people, almost 30 times higher than Britain, according to police statistics. For police officers, this rate rises to 51—and among farmers, a staggering 99 people killed per 100,000.

What troubles many South Africans is the horrific and unnecessary violence that’s a grim hallmark of farm attacks ostensibly staged to steal money—blamed by some on resentment at the yawning gap between rich and poor, 40 per cent unemployment in some rural areas and the legacy of ill feeling bequeathed by the former apartheid system.

Ernst Roets, deputy CEO of the Afrikaner civil rights group AfriForum and an organiser of the campaign, complained that the government had tried to declare the march an illegal gathering. “They are taking active steps to stop us from speaking out about the problem,” he said.

The police minister was not in his offices on Saturday to receive the memorandum. But a spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, accused AfriForum of “grandstanding”.

Mr Mnisi said: “They are only representing people based on their colour. For us, racialising crime is problematic. You can’t have a separate category that says, farmers are the special golden boys and girls.

“You end up saying the life of a white person is more important. You cannot do this.”

South African farms are still overwhelmingly owned by whites, mostly Afrikaner—who are descended from the country’s first Dutch settlers and speak their own language. The government’s efforts to encourage a gentle method of land reform, known as “willing buyer, willing seller” in stark contrast to the state-sponsored violent takeovers in neighbouring Zimbabwe, has been a flop.

Prof Burger rejects claims by some in the Afrikaans farming community that the attacks amount to a genocide on white farmers. He said there is also no evidence of political involvement in the attacks.

“The perception is that farmers are all rich, and these criminals know the vulnerability of these remote farms, and so they see it as relatively low risk,” he said.

However, he added, in some attacks the perpetrators “take out their hatred for all those past wrongs, and show who’s in control now”. Farmers claim their attackers are stirred by the old black struggle song “Shoot the Boer”, the subject of a court case on hate speech brought against the former African National Congress party youth leader Julius Malema after he took to singing it at rallies.

Among those on the march was Magda Pistorius, 53, who still grieves for her husband Wybrand, killed in an attack in June last year.

The couple were asleep at their new home on a smallholding in Muldersdrift, near Johannesburg, which they had moved into just 12 hours earlier, when they awoke at 3.50am to find two men standing over the bed. One of the men said “Hello, boss”—and then shot and killed Mr Pistorius, 53, before shooting his wife in the stomach.

Their daughters were also at home, but unharmed. The robbers fled with just a mobile phone and a torch.

The bullet was removed from Mrs Pistorius’ stomach four months after the June 2011 attack. Today, she lives around the corner from the smallholding, and finds daily life hard because of the constant reminders of her husband.

“Physically, I have recovered,” she said. “But emotionally, it will never go away.

“The government has to do something to stop this whole story. This whole country is so lawless. It’s easy to rob and steal. The justice system is a mess. Everyone else here has got their human rights. But what about ours?”

Also protesting were three generations of the Pretorius family, ambushed when they returned home from a church service to their smallholding in Muldersdrift, near Johannesburg, one night in 2005.

Unbeknown to them, members of their extended family had been held captive at the house. A worker ran out to warn that a gang of armed men were inside, but while Coenie Pretorius, 36, was trying to drive off, the men opened fire.

Mr Pretorius died from gunshot wounds in front of his family and his wife, Petro de Kock, was shot in the lower back while protecting their two young children. She survived the injury, but the family still has deep scars from the trauma of the attack, especially since no one was ever convicted.

The slain farmer’s parents have since moved to Perth, Australia, saying they can no longer live in South Africa, but returned to join in yesterday’s protest.

Their grandson—also called Coenie, who is now 20 and lives in Johannesburg, said: “It makes it so difficult for us, because they wrecked our lives.

“Something needs to be done. This isn’t just happening to our family—look at how many families there are here today.”

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  • Farmers killed, blacks starve. Only blacks are dumb enough to “defecate” where they expect to eat.

  • Tom_in_Miami

    “…mostly white Afrikaner farmers feel they are being targeted in
    gratuitously violent attacks on their remote farms and smallholdings.” FEEL they are being targeted?

    • Liberalsuck

      Yeah, I ‘felt’ someone hack me to death with a machete, and maybe someone shot me in the head. Maybe it didn’t happen, but it sure ‘felt’ like it. (sarcasm)

  • Ulick

    If anti-racists really cared about racism then they would raise hell about the plight of the Zimbabwean and South Frican white farmers. Sonce anti-racists not only don’t say a peep about that plight, but in fact get offended when others raise the issue — the anti-racists unmask their true intentions.

    • Anon

      That’s because there is no such thing as “anti-racism” and no such thing as “racism” for that matter. These terms exist solely to promote an agenda of murder and mayhem of whites followed by the genocide of all whites in the near future.

      Anyone who so much as mentions the word “racist” deserves a hanging based on the clear chain of white victims that mentality has causes. Even mildly remarking that a behavior might be racist makes one a collaborator….aiding and abetting the most horrific crimes imaginable.

      The fact that these people in the photo are milling around, groveling for mercy from the monsters preparing to eat them is….shameful. Each one of them should be stockpiling weapons of war and be an active member of an underground with the short term goal of overthrowing the ANC and the long term goal of ethnically cleansing all blacks. Anything less is cowardice of the worst sort (which is about to be punished in the most draconian ways, pretty soon). The fact that all whites in SA aren’t hunting black scalps daily is one of the most disturbing and unbelievable occurrences.

      SA whites have literally been given a choice. Fight or die.

      They choose death. What more is there to say?

      • Alex

        Me personally, I would have thought you were callous, but after maturing a bit….I have to acknowledge the truth of what you say. How can we expect our enemies to protect us? What perverted logic is there in that? The race has already been called and so many of us are still waiting at the starting line…too busy waiting for permission to run,

        I remember when I was in Iraq (08-09) that the Sunni Arabs, a small minority there, did an excellent job of clearing their neighborhoods of their enemies. However, they were united, had a purpose and wanted to survive. They had no illusions that the government was going to help them.

      • Dinesh

        I have always thought the same about such situations. A similar situation in a different part of the world in a different context is Kashmir, that I know of. I am not sure what stops the victims from retaliating en masse. I can understand a lack of mass retaliation but none at all is baffling!

    • Liberalsuck

      If people get mad when you point out bigotry against whites, say this, ‘So are you more mad about anti-white bigotry, or is it the fact I’m pointing it out that angers you?”

      • LaSantaHermandad

        Save your breath. A simple “f–k you and where you came from” would be sufficient. Don’t try to argue with the cretins. It’s easier to herd cats.

        • Liberalsuck

          True, but it might wake up some naive followers around them. You never know.

          • LaSantaHermandad

            It’s too late for them. They’ve already put themselves on the chopping block. They’ll sadly, have to learn the hard way. I just hope it’s not their children who have to suffer.

  • Smeagol2

    I just do not understand why any white person would willingly stay in South Africa if they have the means to leave. I would have left a long, long time ago. SA has basically degenerated to the level of the rest of Africa. Why do they want to continue to live in a third world country and prop up an economy and government for people who obviously hate them and want them dead?

    • Terry

      We left South Africa fifteen years ago because I saw what what was going to happen. I sold my farm in 1989 to an English fellow who stayed there for for the next eighteen years but sold it to a black because he considered it had become too dangerous and returned to Wales. The farm is now completely unproductive. I have seen how it is just bare by looking at Google Earth and also from what a neighbour has told me.

      • Smeagol2

        Naturally, haha. I hope many other whites follow suit, before too many more have been murdered.

        • Guest

          Me too. Whites don’t belong in Africa and should be encouraged to leave

          • Stein

            Shut up liars. Whites built South-Africa. They should soon get UN forces to protect them if there was any justice left in this world.

          • Laager

            No chance of the UN doing anything.
            Just take a look at the anti apartheid campaign history in the UN.
            They are actually directly responsible for creating this current state of affairs in South Africa.
            “They” being the African block who harnessed the support of the the liberal west – in particular the Scandinavian nations.
            The final coup de gras was delivered by Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State for the USA leading from the front on behalf of the liberal mob.
            Today the African cabal still have the communist block on their side who will effectively veto any action to save a white minority in (South) Africa.

          • SLCain

            Then before they go, everything which white men created should be destroyed – every road should be torn up, every building razed, every car and tractor wrecked, every window smashed. Blacks have no right to the fruits of white colonization.

          • Skincognito

            Should Whites be encouraged to leave North America and Australia as well? No sir. We are a civilization building folk, we used to defend what we had built. Relocating to the Pontic-Caspian or Scandinavia is not the answer. Stand your ground son. The massacre of the Afrikaaner brings tears to my eyes and instills rage in my heart. I am well read in the history of Southern Africa, but in this case an historiographic survey does injustice to the slaughter of some of the finest White people that God and nature have ever produced. Bald kommt unsere Rache.

          • Aaa

            I disagree. Whites collonized an uninhabited Africa. I also believe Africa would be the easiest place to build a new white civililzation if determined western men had the will to do the job.

          • kjh64

            Actually, Whites there settled in a part of Africa that was not inhabited by anyone and built it up. Whites belong there BUT in their own country.

    • LaSantaHermandad

      The truth is they also feel that it’s their homeland. I have read that the Bantu arrived in the area at just about the same time as the Dutch. The Bush people MAY have been the original inhabitants.

  • Josey Wales

    Can’t these people fight back? Do they have guns? If it were my land I would have it where when anyone penetrated the “perimeter” zone, an alarm of some kind announced their presense to which I would meet the “threat” with 12 gauge zeal. I for dang sure wouldn’t allow ANYONE to get into my house without ventilating them. What’s wrong with these folks?

    • Unperson

      “Can’t these people fight back? Do they have guns?”

      No. The ANC disarmed them.

      • Texan1st

        Ironic isn’t it that our government is flooding America with non-whites and trying to disarm whites here also?

        • Liberalsuck

          How stupid are whites here going to be to hand over their firearms? Whites will follow any policy or law even if it harms them because it is in our nature to be ‘rule of law’ people.

      • Liberalsuck

        Can’t they smuggle them in somehow? Just like in muslim countries the rebels and insurgents somehow find weapons there when they aren’t supposed to?

    • LaSantaHermandad

      Why haven’t WE began fighting back here is the USSA?

    • Laager

      The apartheid system contained this violence from 1806 to 1990.
      The liberals convinced themselves, the rest of the world and white South Africans that if all apartheid legislation were abolished and a western Westminster style one man one vote democracy came to pass utopia would descend upon the land.

      We are now witnessing the physical manifestation of this utopia that the liberals told us would emerge.

      White South Africans are fundamentally Christian and believe in the institutions that prosecute the rule of law. Hence their reluctance to resort to violence. Plus the numbers are stacked against them 5m (max) v 35m (min)

      At a grass roots level there is still an enormous amount of goodwill between the races. The problem is the thugs and crooks that have ensconced themselves into positions of power and do absolutely nothing about the criminals out on the street.

      A possible scenario we may see is that once whites have exhausted every constitutional route to their self defence they will be forced to take up arms.

      This is what Mandela and his mob did. They convinced the world that their cause was just to resort to arms as ‘Freedom Fighters”

      Paradoxically a fraction of their people were killed compared to whites today before they started planting bombs and killing innocent civilians whilst they did not don uniforms in pursuit of their objectives. While they “struggled for their freedom” white taxpayers were actually building them houses. schools and hospitals and creating jobs for them.

      Only the perverted liberal mind could not see this.

  • The__Bobster

    Even so-called conservatives sold out SA for political gain. Do they ever take responsibility for their actions?

    In fact, Gingrich’s colour-blind conservatism has led him to take some admirable(?) stances on race. He endorsed the creation of a Martin Luther King Day in the 1980s and came out in support of sanctions on apartheid South Africa. These positions are noble, but they have weakened his support among some Southerners. In the 1990s, Newt even supported removing the Confederate emblem from the Georgia state flag.

    • negrolocaust

      if i give newt 10 dollars today global warming is a ruse to tax corporations and redistribute the money to blacks. if you give him 15 dollars tomorrow global warming is real and is destroying the world

  • white dude

    “The government has to do something to stop this whole story. This whole country is so lawless. It’s easy to rob and steal. The justice system is a mess. Everyone else here has got their human rights. But what about ours?”
    also sounds like our Country.

    • Liberalsuck

      When are white people around the world going to roll up their sleeves and fight instead of waiting for permission?

  • Grim Jim

    Quit feeding the vicious animals! You white farmers are part of the problem. If you stop feeding them, they will stop breeding them.

  • Texan1st

    They could seek asylum in the US and Great Britain but they’re not wanted here. Our immigration slots are reserved for non-whites and non-whites only.

  • rebelcelt

    Get the hell out just as I make plans to leave the Memphis area.Memphis is the rape capital of America and I have 2 daughters. The difference is your plight is far bleaker than mine. I live in a white suburb and blacks just out number us 55/45 in the county. South Africa is 85% black.

    • LaSantaHermandad

      I’d like to see a serial killer who isn’t driven by sex but rather by revenge against rapists. In fact I’d like to see several hundred of them.

  • SLCain

    Protesters want black-on-white farm attacks declared “crimes of national priority.”

    It appears to me that the murder of white farmers by blacks already is a national priority of the black South African government.

  • scutum

    South Africa = Detroit = East St Louis = Oakland = Zimbabwe = Compton = St. Louis = Nigeria = Birmingham AL = Chicago.
    Now ask yourself what all these cities and countries have in common. What are the common denominators for all of them besides poverty, crime, filth, disease, hunger, welfare, unemployment, violence, murder, rape, assault and a litany of other social and econimic ills. But the one common denominator the media never mentions is the demographic makeup of these cities and countries.

    • Skincognito

      Even Oakland still has a Jack London statue. What your examples have in common is a history of defiant Whites creating prosperity and living space for themselves in spite of an alien threat, unlike effeminate, vastly White Liberal territories like Boston or London. Vigor and righteous indignation appear to have been bred out the European man.

    • Liberalsuck

      Oh, I know what they all have in common! Let’s see. They’re all “full of liberals”? No? Oh, I got it! They are all in shambles because of ‘white republicans and discrimination and lack of opportunity’, right? I’m sure the fact they are all majority black and run by blacks has nothing to do with their dismal state of affairs. Naaaaah!

  • You Are Now Enriched

    “Fearing for their lives” is racist discourse that only inflames prejudices and divides us away from “the Other”. Whites in SA should be doing more to atone for Aparthied and welcoming the enriching changes that increased Diversity is making to their futures. Complaining about a few isolated incidents only perpetuates bigotry and hatred. They need to divest themselves of White privilege and join the global march forward toward equality.

    • Laager

      Is this a serious or sarcastic post?

  • kjh64

    The only and I mean the only solution for White South Africans(WSA’s) who want to stay in Africa is to seperate and form their own country. Living in a country that is 80% Black and run by Blacks will never work. If this were done, Whites could live in their own nation and be safe and run it their way. Also, they should NEVER allow Blacks or others in for cheap labor. We in the USA keep making this same mistake, first with slavery in the past and now with Mexicans. When are Whites going to wake up and realize that cheap labor is never cheap.

  • Leelywhite

    As far as I know none of this appeared in the South African media.

    • LaSantaHermandad

      They probably use only pictures in their newspapers like the Soweto Herald.

  • Harumphty_Dumpty

    Use Obama’s billboard to get our messages out there!

    Please add your nom de pétition to this petition at the White House petition site:

    Sanction South Africa for its Genocide of White Farmers!

    We petition the government of the United States to impose sanctions on the present government of South Africa for allowing the torture, murder, and eradication of the White farming class of South Africa.

    Since our U.S. media does not report this genocide against Whites, we petition our government to make a public announcement to inform United States citizens about what is being done to the White population of South Africa.

  • Laager

    To see the reality of this situation;
    GOOGLE: South Africa Farm Murders (Plaasmoorde) Images.
    Also see:

  • Laager

    “The police minister was not in his offices on Saturday to receive the memorandum. But a spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, accused AfriForum of “grandstanding”.

    Mr Mnisi said: “They are only representing people based on their colour. For us, racialising crime is problematic. You can’t have a separate category that says, farmers are the special golden boys and girls.

    “You end up saying the life of a white person is more important. You cannot do this.”

    The facts of the matter are:
    There are an estimated 150,000 black (subsistence) farmers in South Africa.
    NOT ONE of these farmers has been attacked
    Hence their is no need for black farmers to protest.

    These white farm killings are part of a much bigger campaign.
    In addition to these terror killings there is a governments sponsored program of buying up white farms and transferring their ownership to blacks through a willing buyer willing seller process. It is moving too slowly for the satisfaction of the government hence the clandestine terror campaign to force the farmers off the land.
    Once whites have lost possession of the land they have no collateral and are economically neutralised.
    Next stop – nationalisation of all commerce and industry.
    Final objective – total control of the economy and the people by the state.
    Classic communism in action.