If the targets of this atrocity were black…you know the rest.
Another South African farmer has been reported killed after three gunmen attacked his homestead — part of a sustained campaign of violence across the country.
The alleged attack took place in Potchefstroom in the North West province, according to Times Live. The elderly victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics from the private ambulance company ER24.
OFM, a radio station based in Central South Africa, put the farmer’s age at 69, and quoted police spokeswoman Pelonomi Makau as saying the killers were driven off by his son following a high-stakes altercation:
“They saw three suspects hiding at a fence who shot at the farm owner,” she said. “He died at the scene and the son managed to fight back the suspects. He managed to confiscate a firearm, knife and cell phone from the suspects. They then fled the scene.”
The killing is just the latest in a series of murders which the government has been accused of encouraging, and which have made farming in South Africa the most deadly occupation in the world.
South African farm killings — where victims are typically members of the country’s white, Afrikaans-speaking minority — are often extremely brutal in nature, involving prolonged periods of torture.
While they are little-reported even within South Africa itself — the government directed police to stop releasing information about victims’ ethnicity in 2007 — one recent murder which made headlines was that of 64-year-old former pharmaceutical executive Sue Howarth, who was a British national.
Mrs Howarth and her husband, 66-year-old Robert Lynn, were confronted by a group of masked men at their isolated farm in the small town of Dullstroom, where they had lived for twenty years, in February this year.
The men tied up the elderly couple and tortured them with a blowtorch for several hours, with Mrs Howarth suffering “horrific” burns to her breasts.
Her attackers attempted to kill her by stuffing a plastic bag down her throat, before driving her and Mr Lynn to a roadside ditch where they shot her twice in the head and her husband once in the neck.
Miraculously, Mr Lynn survived, and was eventually able to flag down a passing car for assistance. Mrs Howarth was also still alive, somehow managing to breathe despite the bag in her throat, but died in hospital two days later.
Brutality of this sort is far from unique, with civil rights group AfriForum writing that “the horror experienced during farm tortures is almost incomprehensible” in 2014.
……All told, 1,187 farmers, 490 family members, 147 farm employees, and 24 farm visitors are known to have been murdered between 1998 and the end of 2016 — although the true figure is estimated at between 3,000 and 4,000.
……White South Africans fear the killings have the tacit support of the ruling African National Congress, with President Jacob Zuma defending the singing of the revolutionary song ‘Kill the Farmer, Kill the Boer’, and one his MPs crying out “Bury them alive!” during a recent parliamentary debate.
Remember all those bilious celebrities who belched outrage over Apartheid? Not a peep from them about this.