100 dating farmers

Felicity was left severely traumatised with a skull fracture, and has not yet been able to talk about the attack from the Bloemfontein hospital in where she is being treated.

Today, she lives around the corner from the smallholding, and finds daily life hard because of the constant reminders of her husband. The slain farmer's parents have since moved to Perth, Australia, saying they can no longer live in South Africa, but returned to join in yesterday's protest.

Their grandson - also called Coenie, who is now 20 and lives in Johannesburg, said: "It makes it so difficult for us, because they wrecked our lives.

But according to the Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa, there have been 2,863 farm attacks and 1,592 farm murders since 1990, and independent think-tanks put the true number of farmers murdered at closer to 3,000.

It is now twice as dangerous to be a farmer as it is to be a police officer in South Africa, according to Johan Burger, a senior researcher with the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies' crime and justice programme.

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