Incompetence leads to release of alleged farm attacker – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says Lesotho said to have released criminals because SAPS failed to make necessary arrangements

Lack of cooperation between South Africa and Lesotho with regard to extradition of alleged farm attackers must be resolved

6 August 2020

The FF Plus has noted with concern the claims made in the media (Netwerk24: 6 August 2020) that the police in Lesotho have apparently released an alleged farm attacker because the South African police failed to make the necessary arrangements on their side.

The man is implicated in the attack on Mrs Daleen van der Hoven (80), which took place on the 3rd of July. She was attacked in her homestead on her farm near Zastron and was seriously injured when her assailants hit her over the head with a panga.

The four perpetrators then abducted her using her own vehicle and crossed the border into Lesotho where she was later abandoned next to the road in extremely cold conditions.

One of the perpetrators was arrested, but was recently released by the Lesotho police after approximately three weeks in custody. According to the media report, the South African police not only failed to fetch the suspect within the prescribed time, but also failed to submit the documents needed for his extradition.

If this is indeed the case, it is totally unacceptable and the FF Plus will surely look into the matter.

It is a widely known fact that Lesotho citizens are often involved in farm attacks, particularly those that occur along the border between the Free State and the neighbouring country. According to Free State Agriculture, more than five hundred farmers have been forced to stop their farming activities in the border area due to constant attacks.

In one of the latest attacks, two men from Lesotho were shot and killed on 21 June during an attack on an elderly couple in the Tweespruit District and even more attacks occurred at Kommissiepoort, Zastron and Boesmanskop. Elderly people were the targets in every single one of these attacks.

On a positive note, the South African police has indicated that farm attacks will be given more attention. In the process, special attention must be paid to this problem area in the Free State.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 6 August 2020