Elderly farmer and his wife have their throats cut - Annette Steyn

Annette Steyn says Hannes Kidson found dead in work-shed, Ester in her wheel chair

Yet another brutal farm murder must result in action by Parliament

The Democratic Alliance is shocked and saddened by yet another brutal farm attack.

On Friday, Mr Hannes Kidson, and his wife, Ester Kidson, both 69 years old, were brutally murdered on their farm, Oortjies, between Jachtsfontein and Westonaria.

Mrs Kidson, who recently had a hip replacement and was in a wheel chair, had her throat cut. Mr Kidson was found dead in his work-shed, also with his throat cut.

The DA extends its condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of both Mr and Mrs Kidson. You are in our thoughts during this most difficult time.

It is clear that South Africans living in rural areas, farmers and farm workers alike, are facing extreme danger. According to information provided in a parliamentary reply, the South African Police Service noted 49 farm murders in the past year. The number, according to the TLU – during this same time – is as high as 72 murders.

South Africa is in urgent need of a rural safety policing strategy that finally takes this reality into consideration. The DA has repeatedly called for the re-establishment of a specialised Rural Safety Unit in the SAPS, so that this can finally happen – to no avail.

This need was confirmed by a report by the South African Human Rights Commission, released in October 2015. This report found that:

Law enforcement agencies such as the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority should step up their involvement in combating crimes against farming communities;

The SAPS should submit periodic progress reports on crime in farming communities to the SAHRC;

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform should provide a policy brief on the current status of land tenure in the farming communities and establish the standard of housing delivered to farm workers and dwellers, this standard needs to be guided by the principles of dignity; and

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development should include farming communities in the Promotion of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups (PRVG) programme.

The DA will again request that this report be tabled in Parliament for scrutiny by the Portfolio Committee on Police. This is the best way to ensure that every proposal made in the report is checked against the government response since 2015.

Violent crime across South Africa needs to be tackled head on, so that every person  can live in peace, safe in the knowledge that the government is doing everything possible to ensure their safety. The DA will not rest until we ensure that this happens.

Statement issued by Annette Steyn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, 15 January 2017