The recent wave of farm attacks that have plagued the country in the past eight days can most likely be attributed to inflammatory remarks from organisations such as Cosatu, which believe that farmers are rapists and murderers, fueling animosity towards farmers.
According to TLU SA’s statistics on farm attacks and murders – tracked since 1990 – there was a slight decrease in these crimes in May of this year compared to the same period in 2022. This was also reflected in the crime figures released a week ago. However, the past week’s attacks indicate that there must have been a catalyst somewhere.
“We once again appeal to the Human Rights Commission to consider ‘offensive’ statements against farmers in a more serious light,” says Bennie van Zyl, the CEO of TLU SA.
“Farmers cannot rely on the police or the government to protect us. Getting a quick response from security companies in rural environments is also not as easy as in cities. Therefore, we are reliant on ourselves to secure our communities and change the narrative about farmers – that they assault workers, have lots of money, and stole the land.”
TLU SA is continuously involved in rural security projects and readily provides input and advice on improving the system.
“We will continue to build relationships with the police on a rural and personal level to establish a security network,” says Van Zyl.
“We have experienced several foot soldiers in the police who still believe in what they do and try to perform their duties properly under tough circumstances. We sympathise with the challenges that hinder them, such as poor top-level management, a shortage of basic resources like reliable vehicles, and a lack of experienced specialised forces. However, this impacts the safety of farmers, their families, workers, and ultimately food production.
TLU SA urgently appeals to President Ramaphosa and the rest of the cabinet to dismiss the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and officials who fail to fulfil their duties properly and replace them with driven, loyal, diligent, and experienced officials who are up to the task of combating crime.”
Read about South African farm attacks and farm murders here
Read the original article in Afrikaans on TLU SA