A 73-year-old man was tied up and beaten by home invaders who raped his wife, aged 46, and daughters, aged 15 and 11, in Muldersdrift, South Africa.
The attack, which took place at a farm, according to the Pretoria East Rekord, citing a report in the Krugersdorp News, is believed to have been perpetrated by an armed gang who were also involved in incidents at Zwartkop, Nooitgedacht, and Beyers Naudé, and are still at large.
“They demanded money and, when they could not find it, they assaulted him, searched him and took his cellphone. The suspects took the victim’s wife, 46, and his daughters, aged 15 and 11, to another room and raped them,” said police spokesman Constable Boitumelo Sehloho, in comments quoted by News24.
“These crimes are committed by three to six suspects armed with handguns. In all reported incidents, the suspects forcefully gained entry into victims’ homes. In some house robberies, victims were sexually assaulted,” Sehloho said.
“Members of the community are urged to be vigilant and tighten their home security before and not after the fact and to be alert in their homes between 19:00 and 04:00 and also to report any suspicious movement,” he added.
The issue of attacks on South African farms is long-running and highly contentious, with some reports claiming farming in the country is the most deadly occupation in the world outside of active warfighting, and others claiming farm attacks are actually falling.
The AfriForum civil rights group has disputed efforts to downplay the scale of the attacks, however, saying that the official statistics are significantly undercounting them and emphasising their often extreme brutality, with victims sometimes being tortured with implements including blowtorches and power drills.
The African National Congress (ANC) party which governs South Africa, and is currently targeting farms for expropriation without compensation — in response to political pressure from the rising Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party led by Marxist-Leninist radical Julius Malema, according to many commentators — refuses to accept that farmers are particularly at risk, or that there is any racial animus behind the farm attacks phenomenon.
The debate gained wider prominence when U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had tasked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers” in 2018.