OPINION

Govt must urgently intervene about farm murders – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says a wave of attacks, often involving great cruelty, sweeping across the country

Government must urgently intervene about farm murders

23 August 2017

The leader of the FF Plus, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, said in a member statement in parliament that the wave of farm murders and attacks sweeping the country, and particularly the cruelty of these attacks, makes it increasingly urgent for the government, and specifically the Minister of Police, to take drastic steps to improve rural protection.

Here follows the rest of the member statement:

According to police reports submitted to the parliamentary portfolio committee of police, there are various rural police stations (75) that don’t even meet the minimum requirements for sector policing.

According to statistics by TAU SA, just this month there have been 23 attacks in which six people were killed (four over the past weekend). Over the last year, there have been 277 attacks in which 55 people were killed.

The question is whether farm murders still receive priority attention as was undertaken by the former acting National Police Commissioner, lieutenant general Phalahne, and if not, (i) why not?

The fact that food security is a priority for the government and that it is threatened by farm attacks and murders, necessitates specialist units that can investigate farm attacks and murders.

The FF Plus is currently busy with an assessment to determine what agricultural organisations’ needs are in terms of finances and equipment to protect farmers, after which the party will approach the government and request financial support for these organisations and their support systems.

If the government really is serious about food security and combating farm murders, it will have to start supporting these organisations’ needs as the police’s rural security plan is obviously not making the grade.

The FF Plus urges politicians to refrain from making inflammatory statements, particularly regarding the issue of land, that can arouse feelings against farmers.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus Leader, 23 August 2017