NEWS & ANALYSIS

Land grabs: Makhura must send loud and clear message – FF Plus

Premier requested to support community policing forum, farm watch initiatives and neighbourhood watches

Gauteng Premier must send loud and clear message that land grabs will not be tolerated 

5 July 2019

The FF Plus is grateful that the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, classified farm murders as a priority crime in his SOPA, but it is not enough.

The Premier emphasised safety, social cohesion and food security while farmers cannot farm in peace, land grabs are encouraged and farmers are made the scapegoats for everything that goes wrong in South Africa.

The FF Plus agrees that there must be social cohesion and that South Africa must be free of racism and all other kinds of "-isms". But farm murders are just a symptom of hate speech, racism and populist statements made by politicians who have nothing better to offer their voters. These political leaders must be held accountable and must be prosecuted for their hate speech and the division that they cause.

The brutality and cruelty associated with farm attacks and murders make it more than just a case of theft or murder, it is motivated by hate. It certainly is not normal to drown a child in a tub of boiling water or to poke out elderly people's eyes.

From January 2019 until yesterday, there have been 68 attacks and 4 murders in Gauteng alone. The following shocking tendencies, as researched by AfriForum, stand out:

Problem areas:

- Hammanskraal – 12

- Pretoria North – 9

- Cullinan – 7

- Hercules – 6

- Muldersdrift – 3

Authorities mostly stand by and look on as land grabs take place and, in all cases, the landowners are forced to spend a lot of money to approach the court to obtain verdicts so that they can continue with food production. All this is happening while President Cyril Ramaphosa promised on behalf of the ANC that land grabs will not be tolerated nor allowed.

The FF Plus expects the Gauteng Legislature and Premier to send a loud and clear message to the authorities and SAPS that illegal land grabs must not be tolerated and that landowners must be protected as determined by our Constitution.

When the challenges that we face across the crime spectrum are considered, it is clear that the government is failing the SAPS and that the SAPS is, in turn, failing the people of Gauteng.

The following issues need urgent attention:

- The SAPS's vehicles, buildings and equipment are in a terrible state of disrepair;

- Police members have had inadequate training and are thus incompetent;

- Levels of motivation and working conditions are bad;

- The socio-economic circumstances of police members are worrying;

- Psychologically, members are unmotivated and negative.

The FF Plus requests the Premier to reinforce and offer support to the community policing forum, farm watch initiatives and the neighbourhood watch.

The intake and training of reservists must be fast-tracked, the registration of peace officials must be increased and the problem with the central firearms registry must be addressed and solved.

Issued by Kobus Hoffman, FF Plus MPL: Gauteng Legislature, 5 July 2019