South African Police Service (SAPS) officers and reservists will be deployed as a force multiplier during this festive season to respond to farm murders and general safety in South Africa, and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said police will do everything to curb farm killings.
This emerged on Wednesday following a meeting between Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and the leadership of the Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU).
The meeting, which was also attended by members of the Visible Policing Unit, is part of the Minister’s ongoing engagement with different stakeholders in addressing safety on farms and rural communities.
“We don’t need violence in South Africa. We need more police visibility on farms and we are willing to work with the police,” said TAU President Louis Meintjes.
Minister Mbalula stressed that police will do everything to curb farm killings. The Minister also emphasized that there must be better cooperation and coordination between farmers and police, in particular at a station level, where crime is reported.
He informed the leadership of TAU that a National Imbizo will be held before the end of the year to iron out plans to operationalise the Rural Safety Strategy.
Farm murders have been in the spotlight in recent weeks after thousands of South Africans gathered on Monday, October 30, in an event dubbed #BlackMonday. The gathering was sparked by the murder of Klamputs farmer Joubert Conradie on October 24.
Civil rights organisation AfriForum says there have been about 70 fatal attacks on farmers since January.
Minister Mbalula described Wednesday’s engagement as “fruitful”, as both sides agreed that farm killings are and must remain a priority.
“We reiterate the spirit of the Freedom Charter, that South Africa belongs to all those who live in it. Police need to create a conducive environment for farmers to produce and ensure food security for all our people,” Minister Mbalula said.
Earlier this week the police in Bela-Bela arrested three suspects – between the ages of 25 and 37 – who were involved in a farm attack which occurred at BK Boerdery in the Roodekuil area on Sunday at about 16h00.
Eight suspects had allegedly entered the house where they tied up three victims and robbed them of several items from firearms to jewellery and electrical appliances. While they were fleeing, the farmer gave chase and a shoot-out ensued in which one suspect was shot and two others were subsequently arrested. The search for the remaining suspects is ongoing.
Sources – SAews.gov.za, SAPS.gov.za
I met met the leadership of Transvaal Agricultural Union (TAU).
These engagements form part of ongoing meetings the Minister is having with different stakeholders addressing the issue of safety in farms and rural communities. pic.twitter.com/lYJC7Z1qEO
— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) November 29, 2017