December 21 2007 at 01:55PM
A KwaZulu-Natal farmer was shot dead on his farm in the Estcourt area, the KZN Agriculture Union (Kwanalu) said on Friday.
KwaNalu chief executive officer Sandy La Marque said David Greene's murder on Thursday evening meant that 21 KZN commercial farmers had been murdered in 2007. La Marque said initial information received by the union was that Greene, 70, had been approached by a group of men and sustained one fatal gunshot wound.
The Witness newspaper quoted Greene's son, also called David as saying: "He was shot once, point blank in the forehead. Police recovered one expended 9mm cartridge on the scene. My mom was in the garden and she rushed to help him, but it was too late."
Police spokesperson Ursula Captain Cronje could not immediately confirm the shooting or any details.
'He was shot once, point blank'
La Marque said: "This is the most farm murders we have had since 2003. It is really concerning to us".
She said the 21 commercial farmers murdered included people of all races.
In a statement released on Friday Kwanalu said: "Obviously the motive for this murder is unknown but without undue speculation it is felt that tensions relating to land reform issues may have provided the perpetrators with the excuse they sought to commit this crime."
The union pointed out that while the rights of farm workers had been highlighted, those of farmers and landowners had received scant attention.
"Kwanalu has in its possession details of such violations which include: blatant physical threats to the physical well being of landowners, threats of murder; physical assault of landowners by supposed land claimants, ongoing and persistent damage to livestock and property of landowners, the barring of access to land owners own properties by so called claimants and the invocation of traditional spiritual methods of intimidating land owners," the statement read.
Condolences were offered by the union to the Greene family. - Sapa