The DA says it condemns a vicious attack on Betrus Kotze – the second in months – on his farm at Tinmyne in the Mokgalakwena municipality in Limpopo, yesterday late afternoon.
Kotze was ambushed at his cattle kraal, tied up and “viciously attacked”, according to Jacques Smalle, DA Provincial Leader. The farmer suffered serious injuries, while the farmworkers at the kraal were already tied up. The attackers were on the way to the farm house, but fortunately the farmworkers there suspected that something was wrong and called Kotze’s nephew for assistance.
The attackers fled to a nearby settlement where they were picked up by a vehicle at the tarred road, said Smalle in a press statement on Thursday.
“This is the second attack on Mr Kotze in 2 months. The attackers were identified as the same in both attacks,” said Smalle. “It is clear that the SAPS in the remote areas of Mokgalakwena municipality are not adequately resourced to effectively deal with farm attacks, hence the re-occurrence.”
During July 2020 there were also farm attacks at Percy Fyfe and Dwaalboom in Mokgalakwena municipality.
In June 2020 the DA undertook to action some measures in the fight against these crimes.
These measures include:
- The DA will report when called for, farm attacks as Hate Crimes, as well as report those who glorify farm attacks on social media;
- Dedicated DA Councillors or activists will track investigations and court proceedings related to all farm attack cases and report back to farmers to ensure they never miss a court date, or that the case never stalls;
- The DA will work with the Agricultural Unions and do oversight on the farm patrols, assisting them to be organised and formalised;
- The party will continue to drive land ownership and the financial support of emerging farmers in order to foster increasing agricultural contribution to the economy;
- The DA says it will work for an improved SAPS/farmer relationship, in terms of firearm licences, firearm training, farm patrols, and perpetrator apprehension, in all areas to decrease the trust deficit currently experienced;
- The DA will continue to push for the establishment of fully outfitted Specialised Units dedicated to protecting rural communities and apprehending any perpetrators who enter farms with the intent to attack or steal;
- The DA will ask that the investigative capacity at rural SAPS stations be increased, to ensure that farm attackers are apprehended;
- The DA will request that SAPS re-categorise rural attacks as priority crimes; and
- The DA will continue to fight the amendment to Section 25 of the Constitution that would allow Expropriation Without Compensation.
“We call on all those living in rural areas to be vigilant and to take extra safety precautions during the extended lockdown,” said Smalle. “It is time for the provincial government to pay serious attention to farm attacks in our province. Farmers and farmworkers alike need to feel safe in their homes.
“We wish Mr Kotze, his workers and those who were traumatised by both attacks a speedy recovery.”