The Free State Goldfields is clearly a hot spot after the latest farm murder of Mark Regal, the fifth farm murder to be committed in a very short timeframe in this area. Over the last few months, the Free State has seen a serious spike in farm attacks with victims losing their lives in the most brutal of ways.
Farmers, farm workers and their families face the worst forms of torture – it is inhumane and must never ever become the norm.
Peter and Eddie Hills, Andries Loots, Teboho Machakela and now Mark Regal – none of them deserved to die while providing the country with food. The latest victim, Mark, is described as a friend, father, spouse and gentleman. His death serves as proof that the government is failing to protect its citizens, minority groups and especially farmers.
The solution to the problem is straightforward: When the political will to protect rural areas and implement proper punitive measures arises, there will be a drastic decline in the number of farm attacks and murders.
The President’s silence on the topic of farm murders compared to his quick response to the events at Brackenfell sends a loud and clear message to minorities that they do not matter.
The FF Plus is once again calling on communities, and farming communities in particular, to get organised and ensure that they are prepared to protect themselves. The time for holding out hope that the government will come to the rescue of minorities is over. Communities have been let down time and again due to the government’s incompetence.
Every farmer must join his community’s safety and security structures. Communities that do not have safety plans in place must urgently reconsider the importance of their own safety.
Many farmers’ lives have been saved due to already existing systems and training. Radio-panic systems, communication groups, cameras in and around homesteads, oversight and number plate cameras in districts, guard dogs inside homes, community response teams and good quality fences are not negotiable. No farmer can do without these.
Farmers must defend themselves with all the resources that they have at their disposal seeing as the South African punitive measures and courts no longer serve as a deterrent for cold blooded murderers. Even though it is the government’s responsibility to protect its people, the government is failing, so farmers and communities are spending millions of rands to ensure their own safety.
The FF Plus has already spoken to the Free State MEC for Police, Sam Mashinini, about Regal’s murder and will keep the pressure on to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and duly prosecuted.
The FF Plus demands speedy and decisive action and no bail when the murderers are arrested. May God console the victims’ wife, children and next of kin in this terrible time of loss.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Jan van Niekerk on FF Plus
Read about more farm attacks here
South Africa Today – South Africa News