A bumper stickers calls for the end of farm killings in South Africa, during a blockade of a freeway in Midvaal. File picture: Themba Hadebe/AP

Cape Town - Sixty-two out of the 20 336 murders in South Africa last year were farm murders, according to the 2017/18 crime statistics released in Parliament on Tuesday. This is 0.3% compared to gang-related murders at 4.8% and mob justice murders at 4.2%.

Gauteng was the highest contributing province in farm murders followed by the North West and Limpopo.

“Farm murders (totalled) 62 murders and the highest contributing province was Gauteng, followed North West and Limpopo with nine each,” head of police crime research and statistics, Major General Norman Sekhukhune said.

He added that acts of violence against persons on farms and smallholdings refer to acts aimed at persons residing on, working on or visiting farms and smallholdings, whether with the intent to murder, rape, rob or inflict bodily harm.

Crimes on farms and smallholdings committed alongside the 62 murders included 33 house robberies, six attempted murders two rapes and two stock theft cases.

Last month US President Donald Trump came under fire in South Africa after tweeting that he had ordered his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to study the ANC's decision to seize privately owned farmland without compensation and look into what he called the "large-scale killing of farmers".

Trump posted the tweet presumably after watching a segment on a Fox show about South Africa's intention to seize farmland.

Lobby group Afriforum claimed credit for Trump’s tweet, calling it the result of a meeting it held with groups in the US to garner support.

According to the latest crime statistics, 57 people are killed in South Africa every day. This represents a 6.9 percent increase in the murder rate from the previous year's statistics. 

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