No, these photos do not show a recent farm attack in South Africa

A Facebook post with more than 2,600 shares purports to show the gruesome scenes from a violent farm attack in South Africa’s Lanseria region. An armed robbery did take place at a small holding but according to the armed response team, the shared pictures are not from the scene.

The graphic images posted on January 31, 2019 have garnered 2,647 shares, 599 reactions and 247 comments.

The misleading post regurgitates details of a robbery report originally posted by an armed response team in the area but leads with additional phrases such as “plaasaanval” which means farm attack in Afrikaans.

A screenshot taken on February 7, 2019 of the misleading Facebook post
A screenshot taken on February 7, 2019 of the Drift Reaction Facebook post

Comments on the post showed that some believed the images were fake, while others were further enraged by the post.

A screenshot taken on February 7, 2019 of comments on the misleading post

Drift Reaction, the armed response team called to the scene, told AFP that the images were not from the scene.

“It’s not even the same tiles in the house,” said Terry-Ann Terblanche, liaison officer for Drift Reaction.

The drift team went through all photos from the evening and confirm that no other pictures were released from that night except for the bloody shoe-print photograph they posted on their Facebook page.

“The other pics in my possession are gruesome but I will never release them,” she added.
“I am livid, this is such a serious incident. However, people and organisations must stick to facts”, said Terblanche.

The level of violence against farmers and farm workers is a hotly contested topic in South Africa that often makes international headlines -- see AFP’s report here about the backlash after US President Donald Trump’s tweet on land ‘seizures’.

A reverse image search of the photos confirmed that they were old photographs, that can be found posted as on an artistic blog Photos from where I’ve been by Rick Powell from 2011.

A screenshot taken on February 7, 2019 of the Rick Powell blog post

The second image in the post is from as early as 2014 according to the TinEye reverse image search under a gallery of images called Gruesome Crime Scene Photos.

A screenshot from February 7, 2019 of the TinEye search

Several pages and accounts on social media are either claiming to expose the “white genocide” in South Africa or on the opposite side exposing that it is a myth.

Tendai Dube