Rural safety units must be reinstated – DA FState

Call follows the murder of Johannes Mazibuko, an emerging farmer from Frankfort

DA calls for the immediate restoration of rural safety units as another Free State farmer is murdered

21 July 2019

The Democratic Alliance is concerned by the heinous murder of yet another farmer in the Free State, Mr Johannes Mazibuko, an emerging farmer from Frankfort. Mr Mazibuko was murdered on the farm Waterkant on Thursday.

In 2003 former President Mbeki announced that the commandos were to be disbanded and was supported by the then Minister of Defence, Terror Lekota and the Police Commissioner J Selebi. Lekota also described the commando units as ‘apartheid-established’. The DA vehemently objected against the disbandment of the Commandos and voted against it.

Ironically, in 1998, former President N Mandela included the commandos in a rural security plan, and "encouraged farmers, especially white farmers, to join the commandos and help in rural protection".

The DA has repeatedly called on government to establish specialised rural safety units within the SAPS to improve safety and security in rural areas.

In April this year the DA in the Free State handed over a memorandum to the Free State Police Commissioner requesting the establishment of a specialised rural safety unit.

In June the DA launched a national campaign on rural safety and is driving a petition to urge President Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the protection of rural communities.

The DA in the Free State Legislature have submitted a “Community Policing Bill” last month that we believe will assist in fighting the scourge of crime, improve oversight over the SAPS and ensure a better working relationship with communities through mutual support.

The DA extends our heartfelt condolences to family and friends of the Mr Mazibuko. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

The DA will not stop fighting at every level of government to bring about much needed change in strategy to protect our rural communities, especially farmers and farmworkers.

Issued by Mariette Pittaway, DA FS Spokesperson: Health / Education / Social Development, 21 July 2019