TLU SA is still concerned over the attacks on and murders of farmers, even though it showed a decrease in the 2018/19 financial year. The annual crime statistics were presented in parliament on the morning of 12 September 2019, by the minister of Police, Gen. Bheki Cele.
According to Cele 47 farm murders were reported in 41 incidents. The Incidents Register of TLU SA kept since 1990 shows 48 murders in 357 events in the 2018/19 financial year.
“The reports on farm murders are more or less on par with ours, but our numbers of attacks differ quite a lot,” says Mr Henry Geldenhuys, the Deputy President of TLU SA and Chairman of the Safety Committee. “It is, however, concerning that our farm murder numbers for this year have already reached 40 by the end of August.
“The decreasing murder rate can be attributed to the highly successful safety structures created by TLU SA and others, and its expansion into farming communities. These structures lead to many attacks being foiled because the network is so alert and responds quickly.”
According to the police’s statistics the biggest targeted group in farm murders are males between the ages of 50 and 71, and they are attacked with firearms in most of the cases. In August Cele admitted in parliament that the South African Police Service ‘lost’ more than 9,5 million rounds of ammunition and 4 537 firearms in the past six financial years.
“This acknowledgement is problematic for us,” says Mr Geldenhuys. “It is counterproductive to reduce farm murders and attacks, but then the ammunition and firearms are put back into circulation.
“We are also concerned about the increase in livestock theft (2,9%) which increased over the past three years. It also concerns us that there is an underreporting of stock theft, as found by Willie Clack of Unisa and reported by the National Livestock Theft Priority Committee,” he says. “We will keep Genl. Cele to his promise to take stock theft very seriously.”
The statistics show that, in general, serious crimes increased during the 2018/19 financial year. Contact crimes increased by 2,6%. This includes sexual offences (4,6%), murder, attempted murder, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (2,2%), common assault (3,7%), robbery (2%) and robbery with aggravating circumstances (1,2%).
Murder increased by 3,4% to 21 022 – the seventh consecutive year of increasing – while attempted murder increased by 4,1% to 18 980. Around 58 people are murdered in South Africa every day.
“Even though crimes on farms have decreased we are apprehensive about the increase in especially serious and violent crimes in the country,” says Mr Geldenhuys. “It is the government’s constitutional responsibility to protect its residents, but because of poor government policies and the neglect in taking this responsibility, South Africa is burning.
“It is time for the rest of South Africa to take a leaf from the book of agriculture and start making plans to curb crime by itself.”
Read the original article in Afrikaans on TLU SA
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