Anthony Benadie MPL
DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader
The DA is outraged and deeply saddened by the senseless brutal attack on our colleague and friend, Mr Isak Fick and his wife, who last night became the latest victims of farm attacks in Mpumalanga, and calls on the South African Police Service to leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to book.
Fick, a long standing DA member and ward candidate in the local government elections last year, and his wife were tied up and brutally assaulted by a gang of heavily armed robbers outside Hazyview late last night. Mr Fick is model South African citizen, committed to the ideals of non-racialism and equal opportunity and is a tireless campaigner for service delivery to the poorest of the poor. The ordeal suffered by him and his wife was absolutely baseless, and the police now have to face the fact that they are not able to provide rural areas with adequate safety and security, and that farmers are becoming increasingly vulnerable to criminals.
The DA was reliably informed that last night’s incident was one of a number of attacks and robberies on farmsteads and lodges in the area, which clearly shows the local police are either ill-equipped or unable to deal with the situation.
How many more farmers must be attacked before our government realises that something drastic must be done? The vacuum left by the disbanding of the Commandos needs to filled, and the DA reiterates the call for specialised rural security units to be established across the province. Our colleagues in Parliament have already written to the minister of police, Mr Nathi Mthetwa, urging for the establishing of such a unit, and the creation of rural reaction units to be permanently deployed to identified rural crime hotspots.
The DA will request a meeting with the provincial commissioner of police, Lieutenant General Thulani Ntombela, and urge him to conduct a full internal audit on the Hazyview police station. The request stems from information given the DA that this particular police station is completely dysfunctional, and that law enforcement in its jurisdiction has practically ceased to exist.