Mr President, will you ignore Brand family farm attack, too? – DKB

Farm attacks must be taken as seriously as GBV, says MP

Mr President, will you ignore the Brand family farm attack, too?

28 July 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) strongly condemns the farm attack on the Brand family on their smallholding in the Northern Cape.

Danie (83) and Breggie (79) Brand, retired farmers, as well as their visiting daughter Elzabie (50), were allegedly attacked on Sunday on their farm at Magogong-plots in Hartswater, Northern Cape. It was only the following day, after repeated calls, that their house was visited, and the alarm raised.

One of their two stolen vehicles was found abandoned at Majaneng Village, Taung, and road checks saw the police chase and apprehend the second vehicle with three occupants, a female and two men. A fourth suspect was apprehended this morning at 11:00. Early this morning the daughter’s body was found, but her parents have not yet been located at the time of writing, although helicopters (one from the SAPS) are currently searching.

The DA extends our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and the surrounding community, who are reeling in shock at this evil crime.

This is exactly the sort of attack the DA has been insisting the Government take seriously, despite the President claiming that no farmers are being killed in South Africa.

A month ago we launched a 16-point plan to focus on rural attacks on farms and small holdings, which have seen the terrible murders of farmers, farm workers, their wives, parents and children, as well as visitors to farms.

The DA yesterday launched its #StopFarmAttacks petition websites which may be accessed here: stopplaasaanvalle.co.za or stopfarmattacks.co.za. The websites contain an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to apologize for his past denial of farm murders in South Africa and calling on him to take urgent action in response to farm attacks. We urge all South Africans to visit these websites and co-sign the open letter to President Ramaphosa, calling on him to address the plight of farmers and farming communities.

At the same time, we can confirm that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, acceded to the DA’s request for a Debate of National Importance on the scourge of farm attacks and murders across the nation; we have launched a national Watching Brief team to stand by the sides of victims as they go through the Police and Court processes; and reported all vicious social media posts celebrating these heinous murders, to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

Farm attacks and murders must be taken as seriously as gender-based violence (GBV), and highly trained specialized units must patrol and prevent these attacks before they occur.

Farmers, farm workers, and their families, who work 24/7 to put food on our tables, also have the right to live and work in safety.

Issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard,Chairperson of the DA Rural Safety Workstream, 28 July 2020