FF Plus welcomes the arrest of five police officers implicated in livestock theft syndicates
The FF Plus welcomes the arrest of five police officers in the Free State nine months after Brendin Horner (22) was brutally murdered just outside Paul Roux amid strong suspicions that various police officers of the area are involved in livestock theft syndicates and possibly the murder of Horner as well.
The Hawks had a breakthrough in the investigation after farmers in the area insisted that there was police involvement.
The FF Plus leader, Dr Pieter Groenewald, together with other interested parties engaged with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, after the murder and provided him with additional information about the case.
At the time, two of the farmers, Messrs Herkie Viljoen and Jess de Klerk, headed the farmers' attempts to expose the individuals presumably involved in the theft of livestock and to provide the police with the necessary information.
The recent breakthrough came after The Hawks had apparently been provided with this information in the past, but did nothing about it.
After Horner's murder, incensed farmers said that they had handed the information about possible police involvement in these syndicates over to The Hawks and asked for an investigation more than a year ago already.
The FF Plus expects to see those members of The Hawks who received the information at the time to be held accountable for their lack of action. It could have saved Horner's life.
The party also hopes to see the matter thoroughly and swiftly handled and concluded and that the most severe sentences are imposed on the guilty parties. Farmers in South Africa are under immense pressure from an indifferent government, while they must also withstand natural elements and serious crime, like farm murders and livestock theft.
Farm attacks and murders are out of control and cannot be classified as ordinary crime, especially in light of the brutality of many of the attacks, as in Horner's case.
The FF Plus is of the opinion that this type of crime can only be effectively combated once the government recognises the seriousness thereof, declares it a priority crime and establishes specialist units for rural safety.
The FF Plus is once again calling on the farming community to get involved in their local safety and security structures and encouraging farmers to ensure their own safety and defend themselves within the constraints of the law.
Statement issued by Jan van Niekerk, FF Plus provincial leader: Free State, 15 July 2021