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South Africa: hideous atrocities on farms.

I am a regular reader of the New African magazine and I thoroughly appreciate it. However, as a missionary in South Africa I think that your article "South Africa Farm Violence, Enough Is Enough" needs some balance.

The feature uses the zoom lens to focus on the few isolated cases of violence perpetrated by white farmers, but fails to use the wide-angle lens on the vast amount of vicious violence perpetrated against the farmers.

There have been over 7,000 acts of violence against farmers reported. This is including approximately 1,000 white South African farmers murdered in the last 10 years. And these have hardly been people killed by accident in the course of some robbery by common criminals.

The vicious tortures inflicted upon many of these farmers, many of them old and retired people, almost defies description. Rape, torture, mutilation, staking down farmers and burning their limbs off while alive, hideous atrocities.

And when some of these so-called "common criminals" have been killed in self defence by some of the farmers, or captured, it has frequently turned out that they are connected with the armed wings of the old liberation movements, MK (ANC) and APLA.

Some have actually been serving members of the South African National Defence Force. There is far more to the plague of farm murders in South Africa than your article has dealt with.

We cannot speak of non-racialism and oppose racism, lawlessness and violence while excusing the systematic targeting, torturing and murder of so many productive farmers who provide much needed employment and food that benefit all of us. Enough is, indeed, enough.

Dr Peter Hammond

Cape Town, South Africa
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Hammond, Peter
Publication:New African
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jun 1, 2004
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