Johannesburg -

AfriForum, local celebrities and the families of victims of farm murders marched to the office of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Saturday, the civil rights group said.

Marchers read out a memorandum which demanded the prioritisation of farm murders as part of a campaign by AfriForum and Solidarity against farm attacks and to promote rural safety.

The families displayed photos of their murdered relatives and were joined by other farm attack survivors.

On Thursday, the High Court in Pretoria granted AfriForum permission to hold the march after the police ministry threatened to declare it an illegal protest.

“Farm murders are not only a crisis. They are a catastrophe,” AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said in a statement.

Roets said farmers lived in unique circumstances in remote areas where the police's reaction time was slow.

Farmers were killed in large numbers and even tortured while the government and the department of police refused to acknowledge that there was a crisis, he said.

On Saturday, Beeld newspaper reported that 94-year-old Maria Barnard was burnt with a warm frying pan, while her 74-year-old son Hekkie was killed in the attack on their farm in Brits, North West.

Her 62-year-old son Nico Barnard was shot in the stomach and Nico jun. 16, was stabbed in the head. - Sapa