Farm murders and attacks still unacceptably high

By Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison:

THE DA in KZN sends its heartfelt condolences to the Johnson family of Nyoni, KZN who this week lost a family member during a farm attack, while another was seriously injured.

We condemn this criminal attack and expect the KZN Police Commissioner to move beyond words of condemnation and ensure that the killers face the full might of the law.

Regrettably this is by no means an isolated case – there are many other KZN families who have suffered the loss of a loved one who is very often also the breadwinner.

In an April 2015 response to a parliamentary question by the DA, the province’s Community Safety and Liaison department confirmed that between 2012 and 2014 there were 178 farm attacks while almost 20 farm murders were reported at police stations across the province.

While the scourge appears to be widespread, police stations in KwaDukuza, Paddock and Camperdown seem to have a bigger share of the problem.

It is quite clear from these figures that the department’s current Rural Security Strategy is deficient and totally dysfunctional as rural crimes continue unabated.

The DA is in agreement with the analysis from both the SAPS Crime Intelligence and the KWANALU security desk that, in the vast majority of cases, the motive for these attacks and murders is criminality.

To ensure the safety of farming communities, the DA would;

–          Establish a specialised rural safety unit within the SAPS

–          Deploy specialised Rural Reaction Units to clearly identified rural crime hotspots on a roving basis

–          Improve rural crime intelligence gathering – the creation of a SAPS Rural Intelligence Centre would improve the gathering and analysing of rural crime information and thus better inform crime prevention initiatives

Safe rural communities are the life blood for a free and economically viable agrarian economy in KZN.  Our farmers and farm-workers are vital cogs in ensuring the food security of our province and nation.