Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
Solidarity trade union: - list of farm murders
2003 - June 2009:
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
JOHANNESBURG - July 22 2010 - South African xenophobic attacks on migrant workers are said to be shifting to a new phase: organised hit squads attacking white commercial farmers in land invasions similar to events in Zimbabwe, sources are saying.
There is a reported upsurge in violence on white commercial farms -- but the media is more focused on savage attackts on foreigners in the townships amid reports of a complete State-media blackout on farm violence.
- Keep up with summaries of the daily reports of the violence and murders on South African farms and in towns targetting ‘whites’ on http://www.farmitracker.com
Soldiers and police patrolled four townships countrywide, including Du Noon near Milnerton in the Western Cape and the troubled Kya Sands settlement north of Randburg in Gauteng – acting as peacekeepers protecting black Africans from violence by black South Africans. Amidst this violence the SAPS still claims that ‘the situation has returned to normal. The police visibility has calmed the situation," said Oswald Reddy, a provincial police commissioner.
However sources said that local African National Congress-leaders -- assisted by the party's youth league leaders, have now shifted to the "big fish" - attacks on white commercial farmers.
- Black foreigners fleeing from troubled spots have also raised alarm of unconfirmed reported sightings of ANC youth league members attending evening meetings and organised sessions of paramilitary training in secret camps.
“Land reform” – i.e. the wholesale handing over white-owned commercial farms to leading black ANC-members and their tribal members -- is a sensitive issue in South Africa and has been brought into focus by the decline in agriculture in neighbouring Zimbabwe, where white commercial farmers were often evicted violently by President Robert Mugabe's government.
The South African State is the largest land-owner in the country
After the African National Congress took over hegemony of South Africa from 1994, it has set itself a target of “handing 30 percent of all agricultural land to the black majority by 2014”. Of course only 6% (six percent) of the entire South African land-surface is suitable for farming and there are less than 20,000 of the original 85,000 farmers left to produce crops on these land parcels. On the other hand, the State owns massive parcels of unfarmed, unused and unoccupied land-holdings – its neglected military reserves.
Which is it to be? R75-billion to buy 80million hectares? Or sacrificing the lives of 20,000 Afrikaner farmers and their families?
- The advantages of taking all the commercial farms by violent occupations and killing off and/or chasing away its owners and their families: (i.e. the white, mostly Afrikaner, farm families) are obvious: if the government were to buy up the 80-million hectares of this commercial farmland by 2014 – its stated goal - it would cost the country’s taxpayers at least R75-billion. On the other hand, if all the owners and their heirs (who also are taxpayers…) are killed off and/or chased away in a chaotic, violence-driven land-confiscation campaign, it will become so chaotic, lawless and confusing in South Africa that it would be nigh-impossible for any surviving family members of any murdered or injured white commercial farmers to submit inheritance-claims for these land properties for many years – if ever…
“ Black farmers’ patience is running thin…’
ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has repeatedly been warning that ‘South Africa would follow the example of Zimbabwe's invasions for a "fast track land reform”. Early this year Rural Development and Land Reform minister, Gugule Nkwinti, also created considerable tension by falsely accusing white farmers of ‘scuttling the land reform programme by frustrating government’s willing buyer willing seller policy through inflating prices”. The white farming community has vehemently denied this, responding with a counter-charge: the white farmers say that it’s the ANC-regime ‘s own deliberately slow bureaucracy which is delaying the land-handover process. Nkwinti however also issued another ominous statement : warning that ‘the country could be sinking into chaos as the patience of new black farmers is running thin as evidenced by sporadic farm invasions….”
The white farmers will be responsible for the chaos warns Nkwinti
And Nkwinti also predicted that the white farmers would be blamed for this chaos: "If South Africans who own land don’t recognise the reality on the ground and cannot come to terms with the government of what is proposed right now - then in fact they are the ones who will be responsible for creating conditions of chaos which can be worse than what has been witnessed in Zimbabwe," Nkwinti was quoted as saying. The South African government was due to present another ‘Land Reform green paper” to parliament recently – although the farming community had not been given any insight into these new proposals.
Afrikaners are becoming internal refugees inside their own country:
However the regime failed to submit the green paper - amidst reports of infighting within the ruling party's leadership, with ‘hardliners” pushing for a violence-driven fast track process to kick off the few remaining white commercial farmers forever – and thus causing a massive new problem: hundreds of thousands of homeless, landless and unemployable Afrikaners, internal refugees inside their own country….
- Nkwinti ‘s statements are riddled with inaccuracies, stating that ‘land in South Africa is concentrated in the hands of a few land owners, most of whom are foreigners.” The actual fact is that the South African State owns most of the land – not the farmers.
Foreign investors will withdraw from South Africa:
Agri-SA, a liberal farming lobby, has warned of an exodus of foreign investors from the country's agriculture sector “ if policies including one limiting foreign land ownership are implemented.” Instead they have tabled their own proposals in opposition to the ANC’s mooted changes.
"We have seen a major outflow of investment in agriculture in the last few years because of the way land reforms have been implemented," Agri SA deputy president Theo de Jager told Reuters in an interview. "We see that if this is not dealt with cautiously, we might lose even more foreign investment."
The mooted new South African government draft land policy proposes limits to land ownership by its own citizens and foreigners, as part of plans to resuscitate its flagging land reform programme, under which it had hoped to transfer a third of all farmland to blacks by 2014 - however hardliners in the ruling party prefer to kick the farmers off by force – Zimbabwean-style.
De Jager said however that without clarity on these new plans regarding the land-policy, “it would be difficult for the country to lure foreign investors. The problems we have with loss of foreign investment is the uncertainty (over land reforms) ... investors leave because of this," De Jager said.
The ANC’s new plans also cause fear and unease among the country’s 20,000 remaining ‘white” commercial farmers – the majority are Afrikaners. These skilled farmers fear for the lives of their families and also are hesitant to reinvest in any farms.
De Jager said Agri SA would seek a meeting with the ANC-regime to “discuss how best the land reforms can be implemented without hurting food production in the country” – also because the professional farmers’ association members have never been consulted about the changes.
The Zuma-cabinet claims that its own land-confiscation programme ‘will be orderly’ – however its critics point out that the country shares many of the identical problems also seen in Zimbabwe – including a lack of proper support for new, inexperienced and cash-strapped farmers, and putting people on farms without any farming skills.
Meanwhile, black African migrants are living in fear - after many months of rumors that they would be targeted as soon as the country finished hosting its first-ever World Cup, and many aren't taking any chances this time. There have also been outbreaks of violence in townships across the country – many targetting Somali traders – but which the SAPS claims all ‘are ordinary criminal activities’. Meanwhile, thousands of Zimbabweans are fleeing South Africa, deciding that lliving under Robert Mugabe's dictatorship is better than risking death in South Africa.
"Zimbabweans are crossing the Botswana-Zimbabwe border post [Plumtree] back home in huge numbers," says Tafanana Dzirutwe, police spokesman for the Matabeleland South region of Zimbabwe. "They tell us that they are escaping xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Remember, they were once attacked in 2008, and this time around they can't wait to be attacked or killed." He says the Zimbabwean government views the new wave of xenophobic attacks "very seriously." "We are taking no chances on these fresh xenophobic attacks on our people. We hope our South African police counterparts will contain the sad situation," says Mr. Dzirutwe, adding that women and children were prevalent among the estimated 2,000 Zimbabwean that crossed through just one border post on Tuesday. "They [Zimbabweans] are coming back home with all their belongings."
PINETOWN, KZN. The decomposing bodies of newspaper couple Kate Lizamore, 50, and Graham Lizamore, 62, were discovered in their Pinetown home on July 23 2010. They were murdered: a plastic bag was pulled over her head and his hands and feet were tied behind him. Her sister Mrs Patricia Hayes of Pietermaritzburg had alerted the couple’s colleagues and police after she was unable to reach them on their cellphones. They had moved from the East Cape five weeks earlier. Mr Lizamore ‘s hometown was Gonubie, EC.
He wrote on his facebook page on July 8: “ Durbs makes everything good and bad people behind you” ..
On April 26 he also wrote: “ Happy birthday dear Katey, my wife and closest companion, who is always the first to come to the aid of those who need help no matter the time nor circumstance. Enjoy today and countless more…”
Independent Newspapers confirmed that their employee Kathleen (Kate) Lizamore and her husband, Graham had only been living in KZN for one month and a week after moving from the Eastern Cape. Kate Lizamore's colleagues said she had not been at work since Wednesday and Mrs Hayes had called the newspaper to find out if her colleagues had heard from her because she had been unable to get hold of the couple since Monday.
The Mercury newspaper reported that on Friday, Mrs Hayes had ‘managed to get the police to check on them at their house in Rushbrook Road South, in Mosley Park, only to discover that the house had been locked.” KwaZulu-Natal Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said on inspection police had found them dead. "Their bodies were slumped in the toilet. The man had his hands tied behind his back with a rope and the wife's head was covered with what looked like a refuse bag. Their bodies were already in a state of decomposition."
A neighbour said she had last seen the couple on Wednesday. The Lizamores were having some painting work done at their home by the local complex caretaker. The neighbour said they were busy painting when she heard what sounded like an altercation between Graham Lizamore and the complex's caretaker. She said she locked herself in her house and after a while there was silence. That same night the complex caretaker and his girlfriend, who had been living with him on the premises, packed up their belongings and left. There were blood stains on the curtain of their flatlet. Mdunge said they were still investigating and had not established the cause of death. It was not clear if they had been strangled. "Because of the level of heat their bodies were already in a state of decomposition but they were fully clothed. Nothing was stolen from the house. There is also no evidence of forced entry".
The couple had arrived in Durban last month and Kate Lizamore had got a job with Independent Newspapers Special Projects. Kate Lizamore's line manager, Vinesh Naidoo, said they were all shocked by her death. She had worked at media houses across the country. Graham Lizamore had been employed by the then Argus group, which became Independent Newspapers after it was bought out by Irish entrepreneur Sir Anthony O'Reilly. He had worked in editorial sections of the Cape Argus and Star titles. He also worked for Johnnic Communications, now the Avusa group, overseeing the relaunch of the old Kei Mercury community newspaper in King William's Town. Graham Lizamore had also been accredited with the launches of The Barberton Times, The Natural Farmer, The Coastal Profile and The Mpumalanga Tourist. http://www.themercury.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=vn20100724091601884C761363
HIBBERDENE, KZN. July 23 2010 - A convicted burglar who had been jailed for breaking into a Hibberdene smallholding - and who was released from prison in June – was amongst three sugar-cane workers arrested at a kampong 12 km away; suspected of murdering the retired white English-speaking couple Christopher (69) and Jennifer (62) Early, who are originally from the United Kingdom. The kampong is 12km away from the smallholdings. The Early couple had been found dead inside their crashed, torched car.
Beeld newspaper journalist Dries Liebenberg reports on July 23 2010 that the 23-year-old suspect was jailed for breaking in at Hibberdene – the same region where Mr and Mrs Early were hacked to death. A team of detectives from Port Shepstone descended on the Silver Hill kampong at a sugar-cane farm co-operative at 4pm on Fridayto arrest the man. SAPS lt.col. Zandra Hechter said the kampong is located about 12km from the Early smallholding. The couple’s .22 and .38 special handguns, their two cellphones and various other items from the Early household were found with the suspects. The SAPS believe that Mrs Early was shot dead with the couple’s own .22 handgun. Mr Early was hacked to death with a machete – police believe he had surprised the attackers inside the homestead while they were holding his wife captive. The men are scheduled to set remand court appearance date on Monday July 26. The SAPS is also investigating whether the attack-gang can be linked to any other armed robberies in the region. 2010-07-23 Dries Liebenberg http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Hy-moor-glo-na-sy-vrylating-20100723