Murder and mayhem: How South African farming became a 'full-scale war'

Murder and mayhem: How South African farming became a 'full-scale war'When armed men broke into their farm in Free State province on Wednesday night, Mark Regal and his wife were already on high alert. Just the day before, their neighbour and fellow farmer Eddie Hills had died in hospital, a week after being stabbed in a robbery in which his father was tied up and shot. Aware that they too could lose more than just their property, Mrs Regal returned fire and killed one of the intruders, police said. But Mr Regal, 50, was overpowered and killed, the seventh farmer to be murdered in the province in six weeks. The spate of killings has inflamed racial tensions in South Africa, with the Free State's white farming community accusing the ANC-ruled government of doing little to help. Trouble first flared with last month's grisly murder of farm mechanic, Brendin Horner, 21, whose body was found tied by a noose to a fence near his cottage. When two suspects appeared in court a week later in the tiny town of Senekal, a white mob stormed the building, attempting to avenge Mr Horner's death on the spot.

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