A middle-aged black woman living on a farm in KwaZulu-Natal described how the new owner of the farm assaulted her in 1999:
The farmer was on the riverbank. When I got to him I crossed the river to the fence separating us. The farmer was standing on the steeper side. He had a big stone in his hand, and he put it on top of a big pole and asked me to cross to his side of the fence and asked me where I was going. I said I was going to my neighbor and he then said ‘when are you going to leave the farm.’ And I said I would not leave because the previous farm owner said we should stay on the farm. He then crossed the fence to my side and grabbed me and started assaulting me. He was hitting me until I fell to the ground and then he pressed me to the ground and started banging my head against the ground and strangling me. Then he tried to pull me to the river down the steep bank, saying ‘today I am going to kill you.’ I was sure I was going to die anyway so I pulled at his balls and started screaming; he let go and I could run away.... I ran to my neighbors bleeding and told them he had assaulted me. The following day I went to the police station and reported the case. They took a statement and came back with police officers to the farm. When we got there the farmer said he had never seen me. The police wanted him to come to the police station, and he said ‘no, I am busy with my accounts.’ Some of the other workers had heard me screaming, but when I later went to the police station to see what had happened with the case, the investigating officer said the farmer had come to cancel the case with several workers from the farm who were witnesses for him saying they had heard nothing.
An elderly white woman living on a smallholding near Johannesburg described the second burglary at her premises in 1997:
One night I suddenly woke up and heard a smash. I jumped out of bed and got on the radio alarm and called Pieter [a neighbor]. I got dressed in no time and took my Beretta that I had next to my bed—before, I used to keep it in a safe—and stood next to the wall. They must have had a crow bar because they had lifted up the steel door, and then must have woken me smashing the wooden door, then they’d climbed on the deep freeze to break the window and get in. They were in the kitchen, and I heard one say ‘baas, mos ek nou skiet?’ [master, must I shoot now?].... Then I fired a shot. Then there was no sound, they were bundled together in the kitchen. I thought to myself, I have three more cartridges, but then I heard Pieter’s gun firing outside... he shot their sentry. Pieter called me and I came outside. They had run away....
The police only came the next day.... they took fingerprints, but I found the cartridges they had used. I don’t know if anyone was arrested, the police tell you nothing anyway, but I’ve never been called to court.