The recent “Black Monday” protests have again highlighted how emotional the issues of farm attacks and farm murders are. There was both support for and criticism against the protests, the latter fuelled by some protesters making a political statement by waving the old South African flag.
Some historical background may be instructive. The Mandela government did a great deal to classify the phenomenon of farm attacks as a special category of crime, and to confront it. Among other initiatives, there was a national conference on the matter, a Rural Protection Plan, and establishing committees to implement the Plan. This was done in the early 2000s, in cooperation with the established commando system, which most farmers were part of.