Farm murders should be declared priority crimes – IFP

Govt seems reluctant to act with the urgency that this matter deserves

Farm murders should be declared priority crimes

9 July 2020

The IFP calls on government to prioritise the prevention of farm attacks and murders. This comes after a new spate of farm murders in South Africa, prompting many urgent calls for government to curb the surge, which has, no doubt, been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, government seems reluctant to act with the urgency that this matter deserves.

The latest murder involved a pregnant woman, who was killed during a home invasion on her farm in Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal.

We are of the view that farm murders should be declared priority crimes. However, government refuses to declare farm murders, in particular, a priority crime, because as far as government is concerned, these acts of violence simply form part of the broader murder category. 

This is unacceptable and irresponsible.

It is obvious that government no longer considers the ongoing attacks on farms and the murder of persons involved in the farming community as a priority. 

Government must stop with their rhetoric on eradicating farm attacks and murders when nothing has changed. It is now high time that government starts to prioritise farm attacks and murders, and ensures the protection of farmers and farm dwellers.  

Government is working hard to eradicate all the many challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the same enthusiasm should be applied to preventing farm attacks and murders. The farmers need government's protection. The time for talk shops is over. Practical action is needed if government is serious about protecting farm communities. Summits, conferences and workshops have proven to be a futile exercise, therefore practical new strategies are needed to deal decisively with farm attacks and murders.

As the IFP, we want to see government leading from the front in raising awareness around farm attacks and murders. We want to see government establish an independent court - specifically for dealing with farm attacks and farm murder cases. In addition, we call for a review of the justice system, in particular our laws that specifically deal with serious crimes, so that anyone found to be involved in farm attacks and murders is punished severely. Our laws must have sharp teeth that bite. People must know that if they commit crimes, they will be severely dealt with by our laws.  We need to send a strong message that crime is not tolerated. 

Issued by Blessed Gwala, IFP KZN Spokesperson for Community Safety and Liaison, 9 July 2020