Rural safety units needed to keep farm workers and farmers safe
16 April 2018
The MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management, Mpho Mothlhabane, and Premier Supra Mahumapelo should be held accountable and lobby the SAPS and national government to keep citizens of the province in rural communities safe.
This follows the brutal attack of a mother and her two daughters, aged 13 and 9 years old, on the farm, Bokfontein, near Brits over the past weekend.
Apparently, two of the seven perpetrators entered the house and beat the mother and girls with batons over their heads and backs – only a laptop and two cell phones were stolen.
We are pleading on both Provincial and National governments for Rural Safety Units to be established. A year ago, the ANC in the North West Provincial Legislature claimed that Rural Safety Units were already operational here. We were extremely surprised to hear about these units, only to find out it was another blatant lie dished up by the ANC.
We again probed the MEC and he then acknowledged there were no Rural Safety Units in place. He then said:
- That there are daily patrols in the rural sectors on station level as part of sector policing;
- There are enhanced daily deployments in the hotspot stations identified in the Province for crimes in the rural area; and
- That there are the deployment of Stock Theft and Trio Crimes task teams to investigate, track, trace and arrest suspects.
This is simply not enough. People in rural areas and on farms are vulnerable and are sitting ducks to crime. The attacks on farming communities continue unhindered, even increasing on a year-on-year basis.
The ANC must take rural communities seriously and they need to establish rural safety units and make public their mandate and their operations.
All people in farming and rural communities are affected and dehumanised by crime and violence, and both farm workers and farmers are under attack.
The DA has repeatedly called for a new approach to rural safety that will prioritise the use of rural safety units which will act as a buffer against these rural attacks and crimes.
It is time for Total Change in North West where the rule of law is applied and crime is rooted out. Communities here are exhausted due to crime and the ANC is sitting back without any proper action.
Issued by Jacqueline Theologo, DA North West Spokesperson on Agriculture, 16 April 2018