Every year, the list of farmers on the Wall of Remembrance at Nampo Park in Bothaville, Free State, grows longer.
This week, families visited the monument during the Nampo Harvest Day festival and added the names of loved ones killed in farm murders.
“The monument is a memorial to farmers who gave their lives, not in defending the country, but in trying to feed South Africa,” Agri SA’s Johannes Moller said.
A wall of remembrance was erected about 10 years ago, to honour all commercial farmers and their relatives who had been murdered since May 1961. The names are engraved on nine stone structures representing the country’s nine provinces.
Three pillars represent a husband, wife, and child. At the centre of the monument is a statue of a young man with his arm raised and holding a Bible, to signify farmers’ dependence on the mercy of God.
Moller said the monument represents the dark side of agriculture. He said Agri SA recently set up a trauma service due to increasing demand for counselling from farm workers and other people affected by farm murders.
Farm murders had been on the decrease, but this year the scourge had started increasing again.