NEWS & ANALYSIS

Premiers acknowledge seriousness of farm murders – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says it is ironic that Mokgoro and Makhura are willing to admit the problem, unlike the President

In contrast to President Ramaphosa, Premiers of North West and Gauteng acknowledge the seriousness of farm murders 

4 July 2019

It is ironic that the Premiers of North West and Gauteng, Job Mokgoro and David Makhura, are willing to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem of farm murders and are offering solutions, while South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa, is still ignoring it and denying it in front of the whole world.

In his state of the province address (SOPA), Makhura said that farm attacks and murders will be treated as a priority in the province and a specialist unit will be tasked with combating this type of crime.

Mokgoro said in his reply that he will, among other things, liaise with the police and other law-enforcement agencies to combat farm attacks seeing as the safety of farmers and people in the rural communities is a priority in the province.

The FF Plus has long since been advocating the recommendations made by the Premiers, namely that a safety strategy must be discussed with all stakeholders, particularly the police and the farmers, so that a feasible plan can be tabled and implemented as soon as possible.

In Gauteng, there is the possibility of a specialist unit that will be tasked with ensuring rural safety.

Premier Mokgoro said that strategy is important seeing as farm attacks and murders are unacceptable. He also acknowledged the role that the FF Plus plays in calling attention to farm murders by keeping the political pressure on.

The FF Plus welcomes these statements by senior ANC politicians and officials because for decades the safety of farmers has been a matter of great concern and urgency for the party.

North West is the province with the highest incidence of farm attacks in the country, while Gauteng is also heavily affected by farm attacks. The FF Plus is willing to cooperate with the Premiers in their attempt to combat farm attacks and other forms of crime.

In the meantime, the FF Plus will continue to put pressure on the government to declare the matter a national priority and to use the recommendations of the North West as a starting point to ensure the safety of all South Africans.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 4 July 2019