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Make farm murders a priority crime (like rhino poaching) - AfriForum

Ernst Roets says his organisation mourns killing of Frans Modisa

Prioritise farm murders like rhino poaching

The recent murder of Frans Modisa, a 52-year-old farm labourer from Ventersdorp, is another reason why farm murders should be declared a priority crime, AfriForum said today. The civil rights organisation also called on the State President and the Minister of Police to follow the same approach that is being followed with respect to rhino poaching by prioritising farm murders.

AfriForum mourns Modisa's murder and affirmed President Jacob Zuma's comments to the daily newspaper Volksblad that not only white farmers are murdered on farms.

Deputy CEO of AfriForum Ernst Roets added, however, that President Zuma's remark that farm murders should not be prioritised because they are part of the broader murder statistics does not hold water.

'The reality is that violence and murders in rural areas are disproportional to violence and murders in the rest of the country, that farm murders are often characterised by brutality and that farmers play a crucial role with respect to job creation and food security. Should President Zuma's argument about farm murders be applied across the board, then rhino poaching must be treated as any other type of poaching and violence against women and children must not be dealt with as a priority,' said Roets.

Roets added that AfriForum will include Modisa's murder in its list of farm attacks that have occurred in South Africa since 1990 and that it will be used as further motivation to have farm murders declared a priority crime and specialist units set up for rural safety.

Kraal Publishers also confirmed that Modisa's murder will be documented in the next edition of the book Land of Sorrow, that'll be released next month.

AfriForum urges all South Africans who have been directly affected by farm attacks to have their stories documented in the book. They can fill in the online information form on the website www.treurgrond.co.za, text the word "Plaas" to 34388, send an e-mail to treurgrond@solidariteit.co.za, or phone Kraal-Uitgewers on 012 644 4329.

Statement issued by Ernst Roets, Deputy Chief Executive: AfriForum, July 5 2012

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