NEWS & ANALYSIS

Farm murders: Survivors are victims too – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says such victims, most of them women and children, deserve special attention

Farm murders: Survivors are victims too

1 September 2020

Those who have survived farm attacks are victims too and during a debate on the matter, they deserve attention as well.

These are the ones who survived a farm attack and now have to carry on with their lives despite the trauma they suffered – many of them witnessed the murder of one or more of their family members. Most of these surviving victims are women and children.

How unimaginable is the trauma a twelve-year-old girl suffers when having to watch her mother being raped? How unimaginable is the trauma family members experience as they watch how their loved ones are being tortured with boiling-hot water and power drills? These things not only leave marks on the victims, they are burned into the memories of the children as well.

That is why the FF Plus feels that the surviving victims deserve special attention.

The party wants to thank everyone who organises and participates in protests and marches to raise awareness of farm murders. This past week's march is a good example. The public should continue with this. We need protests and demonstrations against farm murders and not just words.

Thus, the FF Plus wants to thank everyone who continues to raise awareness.

There exists a rural safety plan, which has many positive aspects, that the police updated in 2019. It must now be followed through. The farmers of South Africa are more than willing to cooperate with the police in order to bring this plan to execution.

The FF Plus is calling on the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to once again conduct an in-depth investigation into farm attacks, similar to the special investigation into farm attacks and murders that was conducted in 2013, to determine the underlying causes.

Farm murders simply cannot be considered ordinary crimes. On the 14th of March 2017 during the first parliamentary debate on the matter, requested by the FF Plus, most of the political parties agreed that farm murders are a serious cause for concern and pose a significant threat to food security.

With the debate in 2017, the FF Plus emphasised the brutality of farm attacks, which is still at the order of the day. However, it is imperative to remember that the survivors are victims too and, therefore, they deserve our attention as well.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 1 September 2020