SAPS agrees to prioritise farm murders - AfriForum

Organisation says Minister Senzeni Zokwana has also agreed to form a joint front against farm attacks

AfriForum welcomes police announcement about prioritisation of farm murders

28 January 2016

AfriForum welcomes the announcement by Lt-Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, acting National Police Commissioner, that farm murders, farm attacks, and livestock theft will be prioritised by the police. AfriForum has been campaigning for years for the prioritisation of farm murders and has even approached the United Nations on various occasions in this regard.

Ernst Roets, the Deputy CEO of AfriForum, said that the announcement was a major step in the right direction, but that the fight had not been won automatically. “The real test ultimately lies in the figures. We believe that a sustainable strategy against farm murders is impossible without prioritisation by the police and the availability of the necessary resources,” Roets explained.

AfriForum’s management meets this morning with Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to discuss farm murders and the possible steps to be taken to prevent these. 

Statement issued by Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO, AfriForum, 28 January 2016


Joint media statement by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and AfriForum

28 January 2016

Minister and AfriForum agree to initiative to combat farm murders and other rural violence

Mr Senzeni Zokwana, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and a delegation from AfriForum met in Pretoria this morning to discuss farm murders, as well as other rural violence and community relations in rural areas. 

During the meeting, the Minister and AfriForum agreed that the Minister, through his department, will facilitate an initiative to bring together role-players across a wide spectrum to launch a joint front against farm attacks and other rural violence. The aim of the initiative is also to help improve cooperation on local level between the various role-players in local communities.

The parties agreed that the statement by Lt-Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, acting National Police Commissioner, namely that farm murders and livestock theft would be treated as priority crimes, had been a step in the right direction. The parties further agreed that, apart from the police’s promised actions, it was also necessary that the support and cooperation of role-players across a wide spectrum should be enlisted so that communities could tackle burning issues in rural areas together. Some of the role-players that the Minister will enlist include agricultural unions, local governments, community safety initiatives and other community organisations.

The Minister said: “It is important that we fight this problem jointly, as it is only when we work together that we will end these unnecessary killings. We will convene this forum as soon possible in order to craft a way forward on how to combat this battle.”

Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, described the meeting with Minister Zokwana as constructive. “AfriForum’s country-wide community safety initiatives work hard to create safer communities, and will, in every South African’s interest, cooperate to help create better cooperation between communities and to improve community relations,” Kriel added.

Statement issued by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesperson, Bomikazi Molapo, and Kallie Kriel, AfriForum CEO, 28 January 2016