Friday, October 9, 1998 Published at 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
South African farmers fear widespread attacks
Farmers' demonstration at Government HQ
By BBC South Africa Correspondent, Jeremy Vine
"They took me to the bathroom. I grabbed one around the throat, then crashed through the glass partition into the shower. That was when he shot me."
"They told me, now we're going to kill you. They held the pistol to my head and fired it. But luckily it jammed."
Very, very luckily. Brll gleefully told me he spent one day in hospital, that was all. When I met his grandchildren, it was clear they were still deeply traumatised. Their mother, Anna, who was not in the farmhouse when the attack happened, had to tell them a piece of our equipment was not a weapon.
The farmers are nearly all white, the attackers nearly all black - so the spate of murders is running scissors through South Africa's fraying social fabric and causing near-panic in rural areas.
Since Nelson Mandela became president in 1994, there have been more than 2,000 farm attacks, which the South African Agricultural Union says have claimed the lives of 553 farmers. Many go around armed and at night they lock and bar their homes.
In Johannesburg a person can hire a hitman to kill a farmer for $30. In the background are government promises of a transformed country, which look superficial when set against the ongoing daily struggle of millions of poor black people.
On Saturday Nelson Mandela will meet farmers and police for a special summit designed to discuss the killings. Meanwhile the value of farmland in some areas has crashed by half. This is a crisis for South Africa, but it's hard to see a one-day summit solving it.